Studies in Psychology (Social Influence)
1) As with Asch, the 3 participants were together – face-to-face – and the genuine participant had to announce their judgement publicly
2) The genuine participant gave their judgements anonymously in an isolated cubicle by pressing a button, believing there were 3 other participants
3) The 3 participants were in a isolated group, believing they were in competition with other groups and the experimenter promising a reward to the groups making the most accurate decisions
As predicted, Deutsch & Gerrard found conformity greatest in the third condition – though it is impossible to separate out normative from informational influence in that condition. They found conformity at its least in the second.
Each group are presented with 36 blue slides differing in intensity of shade and are asked to say what colour the slides are. However two of the participants are stooges and these answer in one of two ways:
1. They always say the slides are green
2. They say the slides are green on two thirds of occasions
1. When the stooges say ‘green’ every time: 8% of the majority agree
2. When the stooges are less consistent this falls to 1.25%
These figures aren’t very high, however, 32% of participants conformed with the minority on at least one occasion. Remember also that the slides are quite clearly blue and NOT green.