Opinions and Social Pressure

Topics: Question, Asch conformity experiments, Answer Pages: 1 (306 words) Published: January 6, 2011
Opinions and Social Pressure

In “Opinions and Social Pressure “(Solomon E. Asch), author shows that: Group pressure can Influence an Individual to deny the evidence of their own senses.  The author supports the main Idea , by using experimental studies with individuals and showing that when put in group settings and asked to answer questions, which make their answers the minority answer. In the first study seven to nine college students gathered for a “psychological experiment”. The students were informed that they would be comparing the lengths of lines tended to surrender their own judgment to the others, in the same experiment. In the first experiment all the students choose the same matching line. Again in the second experiment the students are unanimous. The third experiment took on a surprise. As the group continued to answer unanimously one student disagrees. Even though this single student answers all his questions correctly he begins to to worry and second guesses his own answers. What the student didn’t know ,is that all the other students in the group were told to give incorrect answers. When the majority size decreases, the individual in the minority tends to contribute independently out of his own experiences, rather than conforming with the majority. The next experiment consisted of 123 subjects from three different colleges. two of them allowed the subject to act independently. Normally subjects made a mistake 1 % of the time and went with the majority and the minority mislead the majority’s judgement in 36.8% of the time. The study provided evidence that when an individual’s resistance to group pressure, depends on the degree on how wrong the majority is. The study also brought up concern that in a society that requires consensus as a indispensable condition, it also requires society to have each individual to contribute independently.
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