Topics: Conformity, Asch conformity experiments, Social psychology Pages: 3 (864 words) Published: April 4, 2013
Why do People conform? (Explanation for conformity)
because they lack information or do not know the answer. People assume that others probably know more than they do. This may apply to the Jenness and shrif study.

people want to be accepted as part of the group, don't want to be different. This may apply to the Asch studies.

Jenness (1932) was the first psychologist to study conformity. His experiment was an ambiguous situation involving a glass bottle filled with beans.  He asked participants individually to estimate how many beans the bottle contained. Jenness then put the group in a room with the bottle, and asked them to provide a group estimate through discussion.  Participants were then asked to estimate the number on their own again to find whether their initial estimates had altered based on the influence of the majority.  Jenness then interviewed the participants individually again, and asked if they would like to change their original estimates, or stay with the group's estimate.  Almost all changed their individual guesses to be closer to the group estimate.

Sherif (1935): ‘Autokinetic effect’
Participants sit in a darkened room and stare at a pinpoint of light that appears to move.  They are asked to estimate the distance it moves.  Since the movement is only apparent the correct answer is it doesn’t, but Sherif’s participants were obviously not aware of this.  Again, when put in rooms with others their guesses converge towards a group norm.  In a follow up experiment Sherif started the participants in groups were they agree on an approximate answer.  When individuals are taken from this group and do the experiment on their own they stick to the answer agreed earlier.

* Findings for both study
Clearly there is conformity when people are unsure of the answer since group norms emerge.

* Evaluation of both study

* Both studies are very artificial so lack...
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