Q1) DESCRIBE THE AIMS AND CONTEXT OF ASCH STUDY.
After the ww2 the world entered a period know as ‘the cold war’. Russians communist on one side and American capitalist on the other. Americans saw the communist as a threat and if allowed the Russians will take over Americans way of life, this triggered McCarthyism. Other public figures were put on trial for being un-patriotic. Americans CONFORMED in a social situation rather drawing attention towards him or herself as possible communist. Social psychological like Solomon Asch were interested to see how far people would go in order not to stand out from the crowd.
You conform to the majority because you assume they know something you don’t. This type of conformity occurs when we publicly and privately believe that the majority is right. For example in class when you don’t know the answer but copy someone else answer because of the majority of the time they are correct.
In other settings we conform without realizing it. This type of conformity is when we publicly agree with the majority although might privately disagree.
Jenness asked some student individually to estimate the number of beans in a jar. They were then given the opportunity to discuss the estimates in groups and then asked to guess again individually. Jenness found that the individual estimates tented to converge towards the majority norm.
He aimed to find out whether they would deny the evidence of their own eyes and agree with the majority who were giving the same incorrect answer to a question.
He also aimed to see weather varying the size of the majority would have an effect on the responses of the naïve participants.
Q2) DESCRIBE THE PROCEDURE OF ASCH STUDY.
Asch study was based in America and he reached out to male students from 4 universities. These students were all volunteers; they dint get paid. These volunteers (79) were all confederates (actors). In the experiment there was 18 trials in 12 of these trials the confederated gave the wrong answer and in the other 6 trials they gave the correct answer; so it doesn’t seem to obvious. The real participants were told that it was about perception but it was really about conformity. This experiment required two card; one standard card and one comparison card. The aim was to match the comparison line with the standard line, the answer was really obvious. In Asch study he made sure there was a control situation, this means that he made sure that none of the confederates couldn’t match the line and gave the wrong answer.
Variation of the main study.
Asch also carried out some variations of the original procedure.
1. The first variation was that he varied the size of the majority from on to fifteen stooges to see whether this would impact on the naïve patient’s ability to give an honest answer.
2. In another variation Asch introduced a ‘dissenter’ by instructing one of the stooges to break away from the majority and give a different answer.
Asch conducted a post-research interviews with the participants in which he revealed the true aim of the study and asked why the conformed on the trials.
Q3) DESCRIBE THE FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION OF ASCH STUDY.
1. In the control situations Asch found that patients would make errors matching the line less than 1% of the time.
2. In the conditioned with the unanimous bogus majority the patients accepted and conformed on an average of 36.8% of trial
3. About 25% patients were able to remain independent and never conformed to the majority at all.
4. About 75% of patients who immediately conformed did so thought the trials.
5. Asch found that that the performance of the independent patients tended to be very consistent so that if they didn’t conform in the first trail they would tend not to conform in the other trials.
6. Those patients who conformed immediately were likely to conform in all the trials.
7. He found that those who did conform did so for several