Opinions and Social Pressure

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Opinions and Social Pressure
Summery Essay

Solomon E. Asch was born in 1907 and died in 1996. He graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Social Psychology. Solomon performs experiments and tests to illustrate what individuals think of and reach from the pressure in social situations. People have shown to follow others in their decisions in most large groups even when the answer is wrong. Solomon showed that being in groups can influence you to deny the evidence of your own senses, completely make you think that you are wrong even when your answer is totally correct.

The first experiment of many that took place in the reading was a visual judgment. Two cards were presented to a group of people where one card had a single black vertical line on it and the other had three black vertical lines on it. The subjects’ goal was to choose which one of the three black lines matched the length of the single black line. The answer was not that hard to figure out but there was more to it.

Several trials were taken for this experiment where the lines were even shown at different lengths apart to see if there was any change. Only one subject in the group was being truthful and did not know that the rest of the group was told to give the wrong answers to see if the truthful one would follow. Turns out that the truthful one was very hesitant of his/her answers since he/she was the only one answering differently from everyone else.

Many other experiment were taking which came to find out that further increasing the majority of subjects above three people did not make a change in errors. In one three person experiment the subjects’ errors were at 31.8 percent after a 13.6 percent error with just two persons. After exceeding more than three people the results did not change as drastically.

All though, results seem to differ if there is a trustworthy partner added to influence the subjects decisions. While a subject had someone by their side to agree...
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