• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Conformity discussion.

Extracts from this document...


Introduction, Aims & Hypothesis Conformity was first researched by Jenness (1932) who placed a large number of beans in a bottle and asked students to estimate the number and then arranged for them to discuss their guesses with a group, later when asked to give their estimates again; he found their individual estimates had converged towards that of the group. In Sherif's (1935) study of conformity, Sherif used the autokinetic effect in which a stationary spotlight in the dark seems to be moving due to slight movements of the eye. When participants were asked by how much and in what direction did the spotlight move they tended to make judgements that were very close to each others when placed in a group. The fact that a group norm rapidly replaced the personal norms of the members of the group indicates the existence of social influence. Asch questioned the results of Sheriff's study and claimed that participants only conformed because the stimulus was ambiguous. Asch (1951) set up a situation in which 7 people all sat looking at a display they were given the task of saying out loud which one of the three lines a, b or c was the same the same length as the given stimulus line all but one of the participants were confederates. ...read more.


They were then shown the jar of lentil. After handing back the answer sheet the participants were debriefed as to the true nature of the 'competition' and asked not to discuss the experiment with any fellow colleagues for the rest of the afternoon. Controls and ethics * Counterbalancing control used in that experiment was conducted on one afternoon, the aim of this was to prevent tutors discussing the experiment with other tutors who potentially could have been participants therefore ruling out any order effects. * The fake answers in each of the conditions remained the same for each participant, this was to keep things standardised and so ruling out the possibility that differences in estimates were due to differences in fake answers. This was coupled with standard instructions. * Teachers who were held to have knowledge of psychology were excluded from the study; this was to control the potential of the Hawthorne effect. * Clearly where deception is used there will always be a lack in informed consent but this is justifiable using a cost-benefit analysis. It was decided the deception was of a very minor nature and was not enough to amount to cause emotional disturbance in anyone. Also the estimate that was to be obtained from the participant was considered trivial information, and when debriefed some participants who were deemed as conforming claimed they were giving a genuine independent estimate suggesting they didn't feel deceived. ...read more.


This would provide more of an insight on the factors that affect conformity i.e. culture, education, age etc. 2. Creation of an unambiguous situation. This would allow contrasting of both types of social influence which would provide a broader understanding of levels of conformity and allow us to distinguish which of the two is a stronger influence in our willingness to conform. 3. Involve real life participants that are there to represent social influence this is because in this investigation the presence of people was made through fake answers which inevitably produces a different reaction in some participants than if they were to encounter real persons. Appendix 2 Results-Mann-Whitney-U-Test Formula for Mann- Whitney- U- Test of significance U = Na* Nb = (Na* (Na+1))-T 2 Na= number of participants in condition A Nb=number of participants in condition B T= total sum of ranks in condition A Thus: U= 16*16+ (16*16+1)- 240.5 2 U= 256+ 257- 240.5 2 U= 256+ 128.5- 240.5 U= 384.5- 240.5 U= 144 The forth step was to calculate U' (U prime) the formula for this is: U' = NaNb - U Thus: U' = 16*16- 144 U' = 256- 144 U' = 112 The tabled value for significance at 0.05 was at 60, the U' has to be less than this value (60) for the null hypothesis to be rejected and the experimental hypothesis to be proved. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Psychology Coursework - Conformity

    4 star(s)

    So it seems that the best hypothesis to use for this set of data is the null hypothesis, 'Any difference in conformity levels between males and females is down to chance'. Discussion Validity of results Seeing if the results actually measure conformity in an efficient way can conclude the validity of the questionnaires.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Preventing and Reducing Crime

    3 star(s)

    (Witt, Clarke and Fielding, 1999). (Brewer, K.) Anti-social Personality Disorder The Biopsychology theories of crime looks at whether crime is inherited through genes or whether there is a specific illness that causes criminality, such as Anti-Social Personality Disorder. So to get a better understanding of the Biopsychology theories of crime,

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Study to Show the Effect of Conformity on Estimating the Number of Sweets ...

    Individual estimates varied greatly as it is individual perception. However, when the participant became a part of a group, a group norm developed. This is a far less strict test in comparison to Asch. It also was more efficient than Asch as only a few results were collected in each of Asch's experiments due to the replication of majority influence dictating the small ratio of participants: confederates.

  2. The matching hypothesis

    It seems socially acceptable for a female to say 'oh yeah she's pretty', however for a male to acknowledge another man's attractiveness would be frowned upon, in that they would be perceived as holding homosexual tendencies, or this may be due to them being oblivious to what woman find attractive in men.

  1. The aim of this experiment is to find out if people will conform without ...

    The experiment involved the manipulation of variables. The field experiment was chosen because of the ease to set up, also the large amount of participants available. Independent groups, which means that the participants are divided (into which group needs a participant) so that each group in the experiment utilised different people, was chosen.

  2. The Matching Hypothesis

    and also 20 males (10 single males and 10 from the real couples that the 10 females came from). When the images were collated we firstly labelled the 10 real couples, letters from A to J (see Appendix III). We then split the image of the couples so we ended up with 10 males and 10 females.

  1. Mate Selection and Preferences Across Decades

    To note, perceived symmetry and asymmetry can influence what we find attractive, and depending on gender, what is physically attractive to one person may not be to another. In another study, according to R. Hill's "Campus Values in Mate-Selection" (1945), Hudson and Henzes' "Campus Values in Mate Selection: A Replication"

  2. The experiment conducted tested the theory of conformity under the influence of group pressure.

    The cause here could be time or even experience. The participants also claimed that the stimulus was ambiguous: "Darkness left no guide for distance. It was difficult to estimate the distance...There was no fixed point from which to judge the distance" (1936:97).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work