Asch’s line study

method
1 standard line 3 comparison lines. identify which comparison line was the right one in 18 trials

participants
123 American male undergraduates

number of confederates in baseline study
6-8

number of critical trials
12

PP gave wrong answer ___% of the time
36.8%

____% conformed at least once
75%

the Asch effect
conform when situation is unambiguous

unanimity variation
one confederate disagreed with majority

unanimity affect on conformity
decreased by 1/4

task difficulty variation
the comparison lines become more similar

task difficulty affect on conformity
increased

group size variation
number of confederates varied

group size affect on conformity
conformity to wrong answer 31.8% with 3 confederates

Perrin&Spencer (1980)
conducted Asch’s study on UK engineering students. found that only one student conformed. showing that the Asch effect is not consistent over time

artificial stimuli
PP acted to demand characteristics. trivial tasks. Fiske “groups not very groupie.” not generalisable to everyday situations.

limited application
only men were tested, women probably more conformist. Men were American; based on individualistic cultures. conformity higher in collectivist cultures

only applicable to certain situations
confounding variables prevent accurate view of the true conformity level. causing us to draw unjustified conclusions. suggesting findings may not be valid

ethical issues
PP deception causing no informed consent and possible exposure to negative psychological consequences.
however, benefits society through showing how to combat destructive social influence and any harm brought to PP is dealt with in debrief