Journal Article Review
Introduction to Psychology
The Asch Conformity Experiment
Has the influence of others ever affected your decision making skills, or made you question yourself about the decision you made? In the aim to test whether or not pressure from a group of people affects a persons’ ability to conform. Psychologist Solomon E Asch decided to conduct an experiment to justify his theory. Asch gathered college students in groups of eight to ten where they were told that he was only studying visual perception. They were then given a simple line judgment task where the answer was made very obvious. The task was to decide which one of the lines on the right was identical to the line on the left. This was done over and over again for about eighteen times. However the trick in the experiment was that out of all the students in the group only one student was the one being tested. The rest of the students were instructed to provide incorrect answers to twelve out of the eighteen times they were asked about the lines. Purposely, Asch made sure that the person being experimented sat next-to-the-last person in each group to provide his answer so that he would hear most of the other incorrect answers before giving his own. They then would see if the individual would keep their choice or just conform to everybody else’s decision just because the majority of the group agreed to it. After the experiment Asch found out that thirty-seven out of fifty students that were being experimented on conformed to the majority’s decision at least once. However, fourteen of the fifty students conformed more than six times during the assessment. Asch being very bothered by these results stated "The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black. This is a matter of concern. It raises questions about our ways of education and about the values that guide our conduct." ( McLeod, S.A....
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