The Asch Conformity Experiment (1953)
Aim: to run a series of studies that would document the power of conformity
Method: Subjects will be told that they would be taking part in a vision test, along with a handful of people. The participants will then be shown pictures, and individually asked to answer very simple and obvious questions. All they have to do is say which line on the right matched the one on the left.
The catch is that everybody else in the room other than the subject is in on it, and they are told to give obviously wrong answers.
So would the subject go against the crowd, even when the crowd is clearly wrong?
Experimental hypothesis: Almost 30 percent of the subjects will blindly follow the crowd.
Null hypothesis: Almost 30 percent of the subjects will not blindly follow the crowd.
Controlled group: All the participants apart from the subjects
Experimental group: The subjects of the experiment
Independent variable: the repeatedly wrong answers given from the controlled group of the experiment
Dependant variable: the response of the subject
Constant variable: the correct answer of the puzzle
Factors that can affect the experiment (limiting factors):
* How does the group size affect conformity?
We can try the experiment with different numbers of confederates to see how many other people must be present before a person starts conforming to the group.
- What effect does age have on conformity?
We try the experiment with participants in different age groups to see if the results differ.
* What impact does gender have on conformity? Are women more likely to conform if the other participants are other women? Are men more likely to conform if the other participants are male? Try different variations to see what effect gender may have.
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