Fundamentals Of Psychology 8. In Asch’s study referenced above, answer the following questions:

How is the principle of conformity examined?
When and why do you think the subject in the experiment began to “second guess” himself?
What are some of the circumstances in the experiment which contribute to “conformity”?
Why do you think some participants would be more likely to conform than others?
There are many reasons why people conform. Were you ever in a situation where you had to conform? Why did you feel the need to conform?
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Asch’s study examines the principle of conformity by presenting participants with a line judgment task where they must match the length of a target line to one of three comparison lines. The study manipulates the presence of confederates who provide incorrect responses, thereby testing whether the participants will conform to the group norm or provide their independent judgment.

The subject in the experiment may have begun to “second guess” himself when he realized that his judgment differed from that of the group. The pressure to conform may have caused him to doubt his own perception and wonder if he was mistaken, leading to a desire to align his response with that of the majority.

Some circumstances in the experiment that contribute to conformity include the size of the majority opinion, the unanimity of the group, and the difficulty of the task. Larger majorities and unanimous groups increase the pressure to conform, while a more challenging task may decrease confidence in one’s response and increase conformity.

Some participants may be more likely to conform than others due to factors such as personality traits, cultural norms, or situational variables. For example, individuals who value social harmony and group acceptance may be more inclined to conform, while those with strong self-confidence and independence may resist group pressure.

I have experienced situations where I felt the need to conform, such as in group projects or social gatherings where there was an expectation to conform to certain behaviors or opinions to fit in. The desire for social acceptance and fear of rejection can be powerful motivators for conformity.

Reference: Asch, S. E. (1951). Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments. In H. Guetzkow (Ed.), Groups, leadership and men (pp. 177-190). Carnegie Press.

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