We all have opinions in different levels of seriousness from which cereal is the best to the solution to gun violence in America. Still, too many people seem uninformed and willing to go along with what they’re told. The psychology of conformity, and interesting subject, was opened up by Solomon Asch in 1935 when he was particularly interested in why people went on letting the Nazis kill innocent people. He conducted an experiment on conformity to study how people behave in groups, which is now known as the Asch Experiment. Asch placed the subjects in a room with five others who were in on the experiment.
Why do we conform, and how far does it go? Solomon Asch asked this question and devised an experiment to see if subjects would conform even if they were uncertain that the group norm was incorrect, this eventually led to Milgram’s and Stanford’s own psychological questions about not only conformity, but also obedience and the roles in which people adapt. This paper will take a deeper look into these experiments, and apply their findings to current and past national events such as the American Armed Forced at detention facilities and the systematic torture of prisoners, along with how these experiments relate to advertising and how it is designed to stimulate a since of conformity among a generation. Finally how does society react towards
In 1957 Leon Festinger developed a theory that refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors which produces a feeling of discomfort which in turn makes the person alternate one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to rid the discomfort. This suggests that people are driven to avoid discomfort and inconsistency and make a change in order to balance their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. This theory that Festinger came up with is known as the cognitive dissonance theory and has been around for over half a century. An example of this theory is if a person knows they have to lose weight in order to be healthy which would be their cognition but they do not like to exercise which is their behavior then they will have to change their behavior by starting to exercise in order to be consistent with their belief that they want to lose weight.
Jenness (1932) found that when experiment participants carried out the task in a group, they reported estimates of roughly same value even though they had previously quoted different estimates as individuals. Jenness’ study revealed the impact of majority influence, and established a direct correlation between a group influence on an individual’s behaviour and beliefs especially when participants are uncertain about the actual number of beans in the jar. Another classical study on conformity was based on finding out how social norms are developed in social groups and how the influences of these norms when developed impact on an individual’s behaviour. The Autokinetic phenomenon study of Sherif (1937) according to Baron et al. (2008, p.277), illustrated vividly the impact of private acceptance of social influence.
Conformity is defined as “brining one’s behavior into agreement or harmony with norms or with the behavior of others in a group in the absence of any direct pressure” (Coon and Mitterer 533). Solomon E. Asch created his conformity experiments that allowed the scientific community to understand there is an unspoken force that influence people decision. His experiments relied on confederates, and studied the experimental subjects because they are not part of the confederates. What the experimental subjects said in each trial determined the rate of conformity. Asch’s study is now a classic, but a very narrow perspective of the population studied for conformity.
Conformity In 1963, Stanley Miligran and Philip Zimbardo conducted a social experiment in which two people were partnered up, one the teacher, one the learner. Their goal was to see how far the learner would go in obeying the teachers’ commands. This was an important experiment in the world because it shows how easy it is for evil people to use their power for corruption, even in giving innocent people orders. Miligran was inspired to do this experiment while reviewing the holocaust.
In 1963, a psychologist called Stanley Milgram began an experiment to prove Americans would not obey the same way the Germans had during world war two. However, what he discovered disproved this theory straight away. Although Milgram experiment was not without faults and had many ethical issues. His work has changed our view on conformity and has had a significant impact on the psychological field. Milgram's work has also inspired a lot of further research.
. In Behavioral Study of Obedience, Stanley Milgram revealed two unexpected findings he discovered from his experiment. The first finding was that humans clearly had a natural tendency to willingly or unwillingly obey to authorities.
Testing on humans, specifically, death row inmates would be better than testing on animals when it comes to medical research. Both scientists and doctors have scientifically proven that even though animals are biologically similar to humans, they are not identical. Stacy Vale Karron, the author of Death Row Inmates in Clinical Trials: The Benefits of Human vs. Non-Human Subjects stated " There is empirical evidence showing that animal "models" are not accurate and cannot be relied upon for safety testing and disease research, therefore medical experimentation on humans is more effective in clinical trials toward the discovery of cures for human diseases than medical experimentation on animals " ( Karron 1 ). Scientists and doctors say that
Discuss the methodological and ethical issues which are apparent in this study. How have the findings impacted the psychological field? One methodological issue with the Bain et al refrigerator study is that type of experiment used. Having used a laboratory experiment, all variables were under strict control and this does not reflect the true nature of the situation the children were placed in. Children trapped inside a refrigerator would not escape by pressing a panel on the floor, thus the experiment has features which do not reflect an accurate representation of a real life situation (Bain et al, 1958).