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