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Summarise the aims & context of Asch study into conformity

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Introduction

Summarise the aims & context of Asch study into conformity Conformity (which typically takes the form of majority influence) can be defined as the tendency to alter your beliefs, opinions, attitudes & behaviour to fit in with the majority view. In fact, it is suggested that even our perceptions, the way we see things, can be affected by group pressure. It's yielding to group pressure in terms of our expressed attitudes of behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

Sherif used a lab experiment with the aim of demonstrating that people conform to group norms when they are put in an ambiguous situation. He used the autokinetic effect - a small spot of light in a dark room will appear to move, even though it is still. 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 2 people whose estimates of the light movement when alone were very similar, & 1 person whose estimate was very different. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rather than make individuals judgements they tend to come to a group agreement. Asch suggested that the results of previous research into conformity, such as Sherif, were due to the fact that the stimulus material was ambiguous. Would people still conform to majority opinion even if the answer required of them was clearly wrong? What would be the effect of social pressure? He aimed to find out whether the effects of majority influence, previously found in situations in which the stimulus was ambiguous, are so great that they are still present even when it's apparently obvious that the majority have responded incorrectly ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is a summary answer to a question asking the candidate to briefly sum up the aims and purpose of the study by Asch into majority influence and normative social conformity. The answer is a suitable length, and includes everything ...

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Response to the question

This is a summary answer to a question asking the candidate to briefly sum up the aims and purpose of the study by Asch into majority influence and normative social conformity. The answer is a suitable length, and includes everything except two crucial features and because of that the answer struggles to pull itself above a C grade for A Level. The answer is perfect except for the need for the candidate to write down the results of the study, and also much more detail with regard to the actual procedure. Though an exhaustive procedural write-up is not required, the candidate will need to indicate to the examiner they are familiar with what Asch did to his participants when conducting this study.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis isn't measured here, as no marks are awarded for AO2 here. The candidate will be marked on AO1 (knowledge and understanding).

The candidate's answer is brief but manages to convey a number of significant factors pertaining to investigative intentions of the Asch study into majority influence and normative social conformity. A few more key-words like "normative social conformity" and "experimental confederates" will help fortify the answer and give the examiner a better impression of knowledge about the psychology of conformity, though.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is quite poor, but generally the answer is legible. The candidate makes brief sentences and uses a few shorthand techniques (such as the ampersand (&) and writing numbers instead of spelling their words). All these may seem small, but they are discouraged in proper essay writing, and will lose QWC marks if it is not rectified.


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