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Bars of Conformity

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Ian St. Louis

on 6 June 2013

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Transcript of Bars of Conformity

Ian St. Louis
Spencer Harrison
Riley Dickard
Angela Topchev Bars of Conformity Solomon Asch's Conformity Study Participants were asked to perform in a "vision test", where they were asked to correspond a vertical line with the three similar sized vertical lines adjacent to the first one.
7 of the participants were informed to intentionally choose the wrong answer, while the last participant was uninformed of which answer to choose.
Over the 12 critical trials he performed, about 75% of participants conformed at least once and 25% of participant never conformed. Hypothesis and Variables Hypothesis: The uninformed participant will likely conform with the rest of the participants above 75% of the time.

Independent Variable:
Number of wrong answers given by the informed participants.
Dependent Variable:
Number of wrong answers given by the uninformed participant.
Confounding Variable:
Familiarity with informed participants- to control the confounding variable, we made sure to select uninformed participants that weren't close friends with the informed group so as to eliminate the possibility that they are MORE likely to conform. Quotes about Conformity "The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black.”
-Solomon Asch, 1951 Results Through the experiment, we found that 78.1% of the answers chosen by the uninformed participants were identical to the incorrect choices provided by the acting participants, showing an astonishingly similar percent conformity to Asch's original experiment.
In our collective 8 trials, the uninformed participants answered 32 questions- 25 of which were conformist answers, showing that they only answered honestly and correctly a mere 12% of the time.
Our study was less thorough than Asch's original study, but achieved a very similar conclusion; about three quarters of the answers given by the uninformed participants were conformist answers. Explanations and Future Research After the debriefing concluding the study, most of the uninformed participants admitted to having strong cognitive dissonance in the decision-making process, weighing the possibility in their head that they didn't understand the experiment correctly or they were simply choosing the wrong answer.
This experiment's results are statistically significant, but could be improved in future research if :
The informed participants are better actors
More of a controlled setting
More professional graphs
Uninformed participants were unfamiliar with the informed participants. "It may be that we are puppets-puppets controlled by the strings of society."
-Stanley Milgram (1974) "Often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act."
-Stanley Milgram (1974) Reference

Farabee, H. (2012) Social pressure and conformity. Age of the Sage. Retrieved from http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/social/asch_conformity.html
Mcleod, S. (2008) Asch experiment. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from
Anyonymous (2008) Asch conformity experiment. Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments A Few Trials
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