Solved IGNOU Assignment >> MPC004 >> Q9

9. Explain the findings of Asch’s experiment on conformity.

Asch’s experiment showed when people are confronted with a majority opinion, the tendency to conform may be stronger than commitment to what they perceive to be true. He detailed his findings in ‘Opinions and Social Pressure’ (1955).

Findings:
· When surrounded by a group of people all giving the same incorrect answer, subjects gave incorrect answers on 32% questions; 75% provided incorrect response for at least one question. This indicates a high degree of conformity by the subjects. No participant conformed on all critical trials, and 26% never conformed.
· Those who broke away from the group opinion and provided an independent answer did not succumb to the majority even over many trials. Those who chose to comply with the majority seemed unable to break this pattern.
· One confederate had negligible influence on the subject’s conformity, two had a small influence, three or more encouraged a relatively stable tendency to conform.
· Even if only one confederate offered an alternative answer, subjects provided an independent (and correct) response
· If participants were to give their answers privately (written on paper), conformity noticeably decreased, even if the confederates were still giving their answers aloud. 

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