Outline and Evaluate Theories Into Conformity

700 Words3 Pages
Outline and evaluate the theories/studies into conformity. Normative social influence is when people conform because of a desire to be liked. This type of conformity is often linked with compliance as we publically go along with the majority but privately hold our own views. Informational social influence on the other hand is when people conform as a desire to be right. However, unlike normative social influence, informational social influence often leads to a long lasting change in beliefs and attitudes. We often look at others as a guide on how to behave. A study that supports this is Ashs Majority Influence 1953 study into conformity. The aim of the study was to see whether participants would conform to a majority social influence and give an incorrect answer in a situation where the right answers were always obvious. Asch used seven male students and gave them two cards to look at, one with one vertical line on, the other with three vertical lines of different lengths. Participants were then asked one by one to call out which of the three lines on the second card, was the same as the line on the first card. The answer was always obvious. All of the participants, except one, were all accomplices of the experimenter and there was one genuine participant who called out his answer last but one. Accomplices gave the wrong answers on 12 of the 18 trails. These were called the critical trials. The findings of the study were that 74% of participants conformed at least once and participants conformed to the incorrect answer on 32% of the critical trials. However, 26% of participants never conformed. They were confident in their judgement however do admit to experiencing tension and doubt but managed to resist the pressure of conforming. It can be argued that the procedures used in Aschs study are ethically questionable. For example, the study may cause
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