Asch Experiment

Why did Asch do the study?
To see what would happen if participamts were exposed to normal social influence

What is a confederate?
Participants who know all about the study and are colleagues of the investigator

Who were the participants in the Asch study?
123 male US undergraduates

How did he ensure the task was unambiguous?
He had a control group with no confederates giving wrong answers

Why did the naive participant sir where they did?
It gave them a chance to change their answer to conform to the group as they were influenced by the confederates giving wrong answers

Outline the basic procedure
Participants were seated around a table and as,ed to look at 3 lines of different lengths. They took it in turns to say which of the 3 lines they thought was the same length as the standard line. The real participants always answered second to last. Although there was always an obvious answer, on 12 of the 18 trials the confederates were instructed to give the same incorrect answer because Asch wanted to see if they would stick with what they believed was right or be influenced by the group and conform

What were the results of the study?
On 12 of the critical trials the average conformity rate was 33%

Why did the participants conform?
Normal Social Influence – conforming because of their desire to be liked and accepted by the group

What type of conformity was shown by the participants?

What is the ‘Asch Effect’?
A term used to describe the very human tendency for us to conform to a group and do as others do rather than what we believe is right.

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