Conformity in Groups
Conformity in Groups
Solomon Asch carried out his experiment in 1951 and the purpose of the experiment was to look into the degree to which a pressure influence from a majority group could influence someone to be conventional or else to conform. He used 50 male students to perform his experiment. Asch tested the how many times every partaker conformed to the view of the majority. In his experiment, 32% of participants conformed to the views of the majority group that was not correct. Those who conformed knew clearly that the majority group was not correct. After all critical trials, 75% of participants conformed, while 25% did not conform. The control group was not under pressure and only 1% out of all conformed.
The Milgram experiment was meant to test the extent to which people would go to obey an order or instruction even if the instruction can cause harm to other individuals. Milgram was interested to know how ordinary individuals can be influenced into causing harm to others. The experiment revealed that ordinary people can be influenced by authorities by doing what they have been told to do even if it is killing innocent people. People can follow orders from authorities even if the order can cause harm to others or themselves.
When people are in a group, they are more likely to conform by doing what the majority group members are doing. Most people do what others within the group are doing in order to fit in the group. Individuals who go against the group even if the group is incorrect are seen to be rebellious and wrong. Back in high school, I used to do what most in my group were doing even if what they were doing is wrong. This was necessary to retain my friends because going against other group members could have suggested that I did not like them and what they were doing. I remained a conformist for my entire life in high school because it was the only thing that could bring a sense of belonging to my friends. It was important to belong to a group for protection from other rough students. My behavior was influenced by the school rules and my friends. I behaved in a certain way to evade discipline from the school administration. In addition to this, I used to behave in some ways according to how my friends were behaving.
McLeod, S. A. (2008). Asch Experiment. Retrieved from the Simply Psychology Web site:
McLeod, S. A. (2007). The Milgram Experiment. Retrieved from the Simply Psychology