Opinions and Social Pressure Essay

939 Words May 30th, 2013 4 Pages
Solomon E. Asch “Opinions and Social Pressure” Salomon E. Asch in his essay “Opinions and Social Pressure” conducted an experiment to determine effects of group pressure towards an individual and concluded that there is a very strong tendency to conformity even when doing so conflicting with their own senses of morality. In the experiment a group of young students have to compare length of lines on two different sheets of paper. On one of them there is a sample single line and on the other one there are three lines only one of which is same size as the sample line from the first sheet. People taking part in this experiment are instructed to point at lines that are the same length. At first, during the experiment the group is …show more content…
Breaking up unanimity of the group in given answers has a significant effect. In the experiment it is also noted that the rate of wrong answers depends to a considerable degree on how wrong the majority is. Even with significant difference in length of lines there were still individuals who agree with majority error. For those participating in this experiment almost all declare that independence was preferable to conformity. “Life in society requires consensus as an indispensable conditions. But consensus, to be productive, requires that each individual contribute independently out of his experience and insight. (…) We have found that tendency to conformity in our society so strong that reasonably and well- meaning young people are willing to call white black is a matter of concern” (Salomon E. Asch “Opinion and Social Pressure” pp.730). The experiment has proven that we live in times where opinion become very subjective and can be easily modified. Social techniques are wildly used in marketing and sales or even by lobbyist in governmental decision making process. The uncertainty of people own senses, opinion or knowledge can be easily abused. Asch’s experiment implements how people believe in the obvious lies. It’s shows simple ways of influencing perception, judgment and action. Results of this experiment trigger a number of social and scientifically researches like study of Berns