Conformity and Obedience Essays

2559 WordsNov 25, 200711 Pages
Conformity and Obedience Why do we conform? Two basic sources of influence: normative social influence, the need to be liked, accepted by others and Informational influence: need to be correct and to behave in accordance with reality. Solomon Asch (1956) devised an experiment to see if subjects would conform even if they were uncertain that the group norm was incorrect. In his study he asked subjects to take part in an experiment. They were each asked to match a standard length line with three other lines. He found that one of the situational factors of conformity is the size of the opposing majority. In a series of studies he varied the number of confederates that gave correct answers from 1 -15. He found that subjects conformed…show more content…
Moscovici found that consistency in the minority was important in winning over the majority with respect to the colour of the slides. Not all decisions are made from a majority influence. For example, the suffragettes started a movement in 1920 which changed the public and private opinion allowing women to have the right to vote in western society. As long as a minority stick by four basic rules then they stand a good chance of succeeding in their campaign. They need to be Consistent in their views, Flexible not too rigid in their views, Committed to the cause until it's heard and Relevant, they have more chance of being influential if their views are in line with social trends. Another experiment that psychologists use in respect of conformity and obedience is an experiment that was carried out by a psychologist named Stanley Milgram. He recruited 40 male participants by advertising for volunteers to take part in a study to see how punishment affects learning. The study was to take place at Yale University and everyone would be paid the same rate of $4.50 and they were informed that they would still get paid if they quit during the study. There were two confederates one an experimenter and the other a learner. The participants were always the teacher. The teacher was placed with the psychologist in one room and the learner in
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