How Strong Is the Urge Toward Social Conformity?
The article, “Opinions and Social Pressures”, by Solomon E. Asch, demonstrates how easily people’s decisions can be influenced by others.
Exactly what is the effect of the opinions of others on our own? Asch research was to test how a person would react to group pressure upon the minds of the individuals.
During a series of “psychological experiments”, Asch proved that people will often change their view or decision if they are challenged, regardless if the information that’s being given is true or false. Prior to the start of the study this selected group of participants was told to intentionally lie about the correct answer except for one of them. The intentions were that this selected group of participants would give the wrong answer universally.
Asch made up numerous collegiate groups of male participants and their close friends, and was asked to compare two discernible scenarios. The scientific inquiry involved the process of identifying the size of a line on a single paper and matching it to one of three samples on separate papers consisting of two other lines of different lengths, two additional papers of considerably different lengths or a final paper consisting of three identical lines.
The protocol followed throughout the questioning to all participants was uniform by giving their result in sequence of their seating arrangement. The initial scenario the results were interchangeable as well as the next. As the third scenario unfolded so did the results. Now with each step of the scenario the selected group of participants continued to choose the wrong answer while the single participant answered correctly. This eventually pressured the single participant, whom sat close to the last participant, to alter his thinking of answers while becoming somewhat distressing in his approach. To avoid surmise, from time to time, the selected group of participants would respond...