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Outline and Evaluate Studies of Conformity:

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Introduction

Psychology Homework Outline and Evaluate Studies of Conformity: One study into conformity would be Sherif's auto kinetic effect experiment. Sherif's aim was to demonstrate that people conform to group norms when they are put into an ambiguous situation. The method was he would use a lab experiment to study conformity. He used the auto kinetic effect - this is where a small spot of light (projected onto a screen) in a dark room will appear to move even though it is still. It was discovered that when participants were individually tested their estimates on how far the light moved varied considerably. The participants were then tested in groups of three. Sherif manipulated the composition of the group by putting together two people whose estimate of the light movement when alone was very similar, and one person whose estimate was very different. ...read more.

Middle

Strength of Sherif's study was it is a lab experiment. This means all variables can be controlled and any extraneous variables can be isolated from the study. In turn this creates a causal relationship where any effect on the DV is only due to the IV increasing the study's internal Validity. Sherif's study may lack cross cultural validity as the research was carried out in an individualistic culture, the USA, meaning the findings of the study may not be generalisable to the wider population decreasing the studies external validity. Another study done into conformity can be demonstrated by Asch's Line Judgment Experiment. Asch used a lab experiment to study conformity. He used a technique called the line judgement task. Asch placed a pp in a room with 7 confederates. Each of these confederates was actors and agreed before the experiment to agree on the same incorrect response to the questions, the real participant did not o this was occurring. ...read more.

Conclusion

Asch's study was a lab experiment so therefore it was high in control and any extraneous variables could be isolated from the study. In turn this mean that a causal relationship was created meaning any effect on the DV was only due to a change in the IV, increasing the studies internal validity. Also Asch's work maybe unethical because he placed his participants in a situation where they would have felt very uncomfortable as they could think they have something wrong with them. This is because he created a situation where pps felt pressure to go against their own judgments and answer incorrectly to an obvious question all in a public setting. This therefore means that Asch failed to protect his participants. Asch's study may lack cross cultural validity as the research was carried out in an individualistic culture, the USA, meaning the findings of the study may not be generalisable to the wider population decreasing the studies external validity. ...read more.

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