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COnformity and gender

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Introduction Conformity is when we change our behaviour or our attitude in response to the influence from others. This pressure can either be real or imaginary. Psychologists believe that a person can be influenced by both a influence is when a person changes their attitudes and beliefs to fit in with a larger group. An everyday example of this is liking the same music as your friends do just to be accepted. This is known as compliance. There have been a number of studies carried out on conformity. One of these is Jenness who asked participants to estimate how many beans they thought were in the jar, and once the whole group of participants had answered Jenness relayed the answers back to the group. He then asked them to guess again how many beans there were in the jar and he found that the participant's second answers had conformed to the answers of the group. This is a study of majority influence. Another psychologist who carried out a study on conformity is Sherrif (1936). ...read more.


We overcame the problem of creating pressure by testing participants individually. This will get over the confounding variable of pressure because the participants would not be giving their answers in front of a room of strangers. This will also erase any ethical problems. Asch also didn't take into account gender, which we did in our experiment. We wanted to see whether males or females conformed more in an unambiguous situation. Statement of alternative hypothesis We expect women to conform more in an unambiguous situation when asked to compare a comparison line with the standard line. Null hypothesis There will be no significant difference in conformity between men and women when tested in an unambiguous situation. Method The method used will be a laboratory experiment, because there is good control in a laboratory experiment, shows a causal link and is easy to replicate. The weaknesses of doing a laboratory experiment are that it can have low ecological validity as the results may not be able to be generalised and that there is also more chance of ethical issues. ...read more.


Another researcher will act as an escorter and will take a student at a time to the experiment room where another researcher will monitor them as they do the task. The researcher in the experiment room will give the participant time to read the standardised instructions and then 30 seconds to complete the task, which the researcher will count down on a stopwatch. After the 30 seconds the researcher will tell the participant to stop and they will then be escorted to another half of the common room where another researcher will debrief them and make them wait there until the whole experiment is complete. This will stop participants from talking to each other and information on what the experiment entails being leaked out. This as a result will stop demand characteristics happening. While the debriefer is debriefing the participant, the escorter will take another participant to the experiment room. This will occur 20 times. After the experiment, all results are collected and the number of participants who conformed is noted, as well as the gender which conformed the most. After a participant has completed the experiment the researcher will note down on the results what gender the participant was. ...read more.

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