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To investigate what if participants were exposed to normative social influence in a solution were there could be no doubt about the correct answer to a question? How would they conform?

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Conformity- Research Sheet Asch (1956) Aim- To investigate what if participants were exposed to normative social influence in a solution were there could be no doubt about the correct answer to a question? How would they conform? Procedures- Asch designed a simple, straightforward and unambiguous task. Participants were presented with two cards. On one card was a single 'standard' line; on the other were three ' comparison' lines. Participants were asked to judge which of the comparison lines was equal in length to the standard line. Various pairs of cards were used. * Controlled- a controlled group of 37 participants were given the task. A control group is used for comparison with the experimental group. The factors expected to influence the experimental group's behaviour - in this case pressure to conform- are removed. The participants were simply asked to judge the comparison lines without any social pressure to conform to the judgments made by other people. Thirty-five members of the control group made no errors, one made a single error and one made two errors. This indicates that the task was straightforward and unambiguous. * Experimental- there was only one participant, the rest were confederates working with Asch. ...read more.


because they could not bear to be in a minority of one and risk ridiculed or excluded by the group. * Effects of varying procedures- 1. A non -unanimous majority- Asch found that levels of conformity dropped dramatically when just one other participant dissented from the majority and supported the na�ve participant. A number of studies investigating the effects of dissenters have shown that a dissenter only had to give a different answer from the majority, even a different wrong answer, for conformity levels to be reduced. 2. The size of majority consisted of only two people, conformity responses in na�ve participants dropped to 12.8 per cent of their total judgements. Optimum conformity effects (32 per cent of responses) were found with a majority of three. Increasing the size of the majority beyond three did not increase the levels of conformity found. 3. Losing or gaining a partner- the effect of losing a partner was tested by having the na�ve participant start with 'partner' who responded correctly to begin with but who 'deserted' to the majority in the middle of the procedure. This resulted in conformity levels of 28.5 per cent n critical judgements. ...read more.


It can be argued it has a certain advantages over normal, everyday social settings. Asch's line-matching experiments illustrate this. Why create an artificial situation in which people- the confederates- behaves in such an unreal manners? Why confront partcipiants with complete strangers? The answer is that if participants conform in this setting it will show the power o pure group pressure. The confederates strangers- the participants will never see them again so in this respect their disapproval won't mean that much. The experiment has therefore created a situation to indicate the power of group pressure. Everything else that might encourage conformity has been stripped away. We would unlikely to find a similar to study outside laboratory. * Furman and Duke (1988) -examined conformity in more real-life situations have demonstrated how others may be the source of influence, especially when people were uncertain how to act. Furman and Duke (1988) asked students to listen o two versions of each orchestral excerpt. The students were either majoring I music on their degree programme or were majoring in another subject. Each student, on their own, selected a preferred version for each of the ten pairs of excerpts. They were then individually tested in the presence of three confederates who unanimously stated a verbal preference. However, the publicity stated preferences of non-music majors were significantly affected by the preferences of the confederates. ...read more.

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