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Asch Conformity Experiment

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Melani Rajhkumar

on 4 June 2014

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Transcript of Asch Conformity Experiment

Research Question, Hypothesis, and Variables:
Research Question:
Does social pressure from a majority group affect a person to conform?
Solomon Asch hypothesized that the majority of the people would not conform to something obviously incorrect.
Independent Variable:
the amount of group pressure
the size of the majority group
whether the wrong answer was given unanimously
the pressure of the correct people
Dependent Variable
how much the participants conformed
the number of trials in which the participant confronted
the percent of overall participant confronted

Primary Research Tool, Procedure, and Process:
Primary Research Tool: Observations
Asch used a lab experiment to study conformity
There was a group eight participants in each trial; however, seven of these were confederates (meaning that they knew the real purpose of the experiment but they pretended to be participants)
The group was then given images several time.
They had to give their answers aloud. The real participant always answered the last

Control Group and Repeated Experiments
Control Group:
Students who were not exposed to pressure of conforming to majority group. The control group consisted of those who were involved in this experiment, fake participants
Repeated Experiments:
There were many variations of Asch's experiment that were conducted by psychologists to study conformity. Perrin and Spencer conducted a similar experiment in 1980, using British math, chemistry and engineering students as participants. Only in one out of 396 trials did a participant conform to the wrong answer

Results of Conformity Experiment
Solomon Asch measured the number of times each participant conformed to the majority group
32% of the participants who were placed in this situation went along and conformed with the clearly incorrect answer
Over 12 trials about 75% of participants conformed at least once and 25% of the participants never conformed
There were two reasons why participants conformed; they wanted to fit in or they thought the majority knew better than they did
His hypothesis was incorrect because about 75% of participants conformed

Bias, Confounding Variables, Methodological Problems and Ethics
All the participants were male students who all belonged to the same age group.
Results cannot be generalized to females or older age group people.
This study cannot be generalized to other real life situations of conformity
The student volunteers claiming they were taking part in a ‘vision’ test; the real purpose was to see how the ‘naive’ participant would react to the behaviour of the confederates
This experiment affected poorly on factors such as education
Other researchers have argued that it is rational to use other people’s judgement as evidence

Future Research Ideas
Which of the three lines matches with the line in the first box?
Asch Conformity Experiment
Introduction of Conformity Experiment:
Asch Conformity Experiment was performed by Solomon Asch in 1951
Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in a group
The experiment consisted of one subject and seven other participants, who were assistants of the experimenter
The subject was told that they were participating in a vision test, where they had to match lines
The other participants gave correct answers at first, but provided incorrect answers later on
Conformity Experiment supports cognitive psychology because it provides more knowledge on how mental processes can change when under social pressure by a majority group
It also supports behavioral psychology because it is an experiment that helps psychologists understand observable human behaviors
Sample Group, Size, and Setting:
Sample Group:
Subject who participated in vision test and was subjected to see if they conformed to pressures in a group
50 Male students from Swarthmore College in USA. Each trial consisted of seven fake participants and one real participant
The lab experiment was conducted in a classroom, where participants were sitting infront of the image
Importance to Psychology:
This research has provided important insight into how people conform and the effects of social pressure on behaviour
This experiment shows how our mind indulges into others views easily
Your mind is being controlled over a group means that it is not free association
Our brain is incapable of fundamental changes
Works Cited Page:
Cherry , Kendra. "The Asch Conformity Experiments." About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://psychology.about.com/od/classicps

Lee, A. (2007, August 23). The Asch Conformity Experiment. Daylight Atheism. Retrieved April 10, 2014, from http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2007/08/the-asch-conformity-experiment/

McLeod, S. (n.d.). Asch Experiment. - Simply Psychology. Retrieved April 10, 2014, from http://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html

Plumridge , Nicole . "Solomon Asch's Experiment on Conformity." Psychminds Everyday Psychological Discussions RSS. N.p., 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://psychminds.com/solomon-aschs-experiment-conformity/>.

Solomon Asch Experiment (1958)A study of conformity. (n.d.). Solomon Asch study social pressure conformity experiment psychology. Retrieved April 12, 2014, from http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/social/asch_conformity.html

The Power of Peer Pressure: The Asch Experiment. (n.d.). Boundless. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/understanding-social-groups-and-organization/group-dynamics/the-power-of-peer-pressure-the-asch-experiment/

A future research idea to help gain accurate knowledge on the effects of social pressure in a majority group would be to choose an image with a less obvious answer
Changing the sample groups to gain more knowledge on the different factors that might influence someone to conform
Another idea that could further Asch's research would be to see if participants conform in everyday situations, instead of a line matching test
Which of the three lines matches with the line in the first box?
Full transcript