Replication of Asch (1951)

Asch (1951) believed that conformity was a rational process in which people work out how to behave from other peoples actions. He conducted an experiment that showed what would happen when people were confronted with a majority who were plainly wrong in their judgments, to see if they would change their own views to conform to the majority. We also did a take on this experiment, using the same aims and investigations.

 Our experiment had 3 confederates which were ‘non participants’ working for us as the experimenters who had been briefed to answer in a particular way and one participant that believed the confederates are just other participants. In Asch’s experiment he asked 123 male students to take part in the experiment where we used both male and female participants and confederates, the first set of experiments were conducted using 1 male confederate and 2 female confederates with both male and female participants, in the second set of experiments we used two male and one female confederate and then in the last set of experiments we used two girls and one male confederate again. The participant would come into the room where the 3 confederates are too and were asked to sit down and one of the experimenters would read the experiment requirements from a PowerPoint, the PowerPoint had 4 lines on it, line X, A, B or C and the participants/confederates had to state aloud what line was the same as line X. The confederates all went first going clockwise leaving the participant last to see if they would conform to the majority.

By running this experiment we found that most of the participants conformed to the majority, 33% of participants conformed out of the 20 participants to questions 3, 5, 6 and 9.

After the experiment was done we debriefed the participant and told them they were being deceived, and they left the experiment stress free. We asked them if we could use their data and almost all of them agreed. Our methodological issues were the fact that participants would tell others because it was in a school environment and we had limited numbers of participants that could take part and haven’t done the experiment before. Another issue was that participants would get the questions wrong that weren’t the conformity questions. 

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