Solomon Asch Conformity

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In the 1950s, social psychologist Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to determine how vulnerable people are to social influence. He organized a psychological experiment, in which a subject was in a room with eight-to-ten other people. Unbeknownst to the subject was the fact that the other participants were really just confederates, following instructions from the examiner. That very examiner arrives and informs the subject that they will be participating in a study involving concerns for people’s visual judgments. They proceed to set down two cards in front of the subject: one contains a single line, while the second contains three lines of various lengths. It’s clear what is wanted of the subject – to choose the correct matching line. The…show more content…
The results more than concerned Asch, who conducted a second, revised experiment to further analyze this. Allowing the subject to write down their answer after hearing the answers from the confederates lowered the conformity rate by one third (“Solomon Asch experiment”), which was a bit comforting, but not by much. Regardless, concern was still present. “Why?” Asch wondered. What could possibly be causing these subjects to picking the wrong answer, even when they knew it wasn’t the right answer? In order to learn more, Asch interviewed the subjects after the experiment, asking them why they conformed with the group. Majority of the subjects “stated that while they knew the rest of the group was wrong, they did not want to risk facing ridicule”, while a few of the subjects “suggested that they actually believed the other members of the group were correct in their answers” (Cherry 1). This makes sense, doesn’t it? At some point in our lives, we’ve conformed to fit in with our peers. Suppose we’re in a class and there’s a test going on, where you raise your hand to pick the right answer. If we see our peers continuously picking the answers we believe aren’t correct, there’s a chance we may conform and switch to their answers, either because we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves for being the odd man out, or because we truly believe that they are picking the right
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