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Conformity- Testing Asch Results

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Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 3 Aim and Hypothesis 3 Methodology 4 Results 5 Discussion 7 References 8 Appendix Contents 9 Abstract: This research aimed to find out if people conformed due to normative influences or informational influences. An opportunity sample of 15 participants, 8 males and 7 females aged between 16 and 19 years, studying at Fullbrook Sixth Form. A lab experiment was used where the participants were also interviewed at the end of the experiment. The results showed that there is a difference in the number of times people conform when in a group compared to a control where they were tested individually. The answers from the interviews suggest that the people conformed because they wanted to fit in (normative influences.) The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test showed that the results are significant because the calculated value for W (-120) is less than the expected value (30) at a 0.05 level of significance for a one tailed test as a result the experimental hypothesis is supported. Introduction: In a group we find ourselves in the minority occasionally. Generally we seek groups with interests similar to our own. ...read more.


The participant saw the picture and was asked a question (see appendix 1). The participants had to say the answer out aloud. The 'real' participant was the last person to say his answer so that he could hear the confederate's answers first. However he was told this was because he was seated at the end. The answer was recorded by the experimenter. Then they moved on to the next question. After 2 questions the confederates all gave the same incorrect answer. The experimenter carried on writing the participants' response to see if he conformed. This was repeated until all 10 cards were shown and the responses were written. After this the participant was interviewed where the key question was why the participant changed the answer. After this the participant was debriefed. (see appendix 3) Controls: * Location (See Appendix 6) * Standardised instructions (see appendix 1) * Questions on main test (see appendix 1) * Experimenter (Sairah Ahmed) * Debrief (see appendix 3) * Ethics: Although the participants were not told the true aim of the experiment at the start, when the experiment finished they were debriefed (see appendix 3). ...read more.


This makes the results hard to generalise as it may only be that specific age group who conform more readily. To improve the experiment, a larger sample needs to be used which includes people of different ages for example the general public. It may be that older people may be more confident about giving the correct answer. Also the participants were around the common room and study room and so this restricts the type of people being studied. To improve on this many locations could have been used such as the canteen or outside of school. Another weakness is that fellow students may have wished to help my research and so be subject to demand characteristics. When Crutchfield did his experiment he found that participants did not want to spoil the results and so they agreed with the incorrect answer. This could have been the case in my experiment because the people I was testing were a part of the school I attend and so they wanted to make sure that I get the results I expected. Another reason as to why the participants conformed could be that they saw the experimenter as being in charge and so they behaved mindlessly because they thought that the experimenter would step in if there was an absurd answer. ...read more.

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