Psychology Experiment

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Title: An investigation into the impact of group pressure on an individual’s estimate of the amount of beads in a pot (ginger granules in a jar). IV = Group/Individual
DV = Individual beads estimate


This experiment investigated the impact of group pressure on the individual. The hypothesis is that group pressure does indeed impact on the individual and in this case the individual’s estimate of the number of ginger granules in a jar. Participants were asked to make a judgement of the number of ginger granules in a jar, first individually and then as a group. The individual participants were then interviewed again to see if their estimates had changed. The results proved the hypothesis that group pressure does make an impact upon the decision of the individual. Each individual changed their original estimate to be closer to the number of the group estimate.

The subject of conformity was first formally studied by 1Jenness in 1932. Jenness’ experiement consisted of three phases. Firstly, he asked individual participants to guess the number of beans in a glass jar. He then assembled the individuals into a group and asked them to make a group estimate, through group discussion, of the number of beans in the glass jar. Finally Jenness interviewed each of the participants individually, during which he allowed each individual to change their estimate if they wished to do so. The purpose of this was to see if anyone changed their original estimate to align with the group estimate, thus showing 2‘influence of the majority’. He found that the majority of individuals changed their original estimate, giving a figure that lay closer to that of the decision of the group. This suggests that individuals generally strive to conform to the group. This experiment was followed by a famous conformity experiment by Solomon Asch (1951), which again tested the effect of group pressure on an individual’s decision.

The current experiment will...
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