Asch's Paradigm Study

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Biology, Chemistry and Psychology AQA Psychology (Unit 2 PSYA2 Biological Psychology, Social Psychology and In) Note on Asch's Paradigm Study, created by nikeishabk on 02/03/2014.

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Asch's Paradigm - Pilot Study36 participants participated individually in 20 slightly different versions of the task. Only 3 mistakes were made. The error rate 0.47%. This shows the task was unambiguous and the absence of the confederates means the participants can judge the line correctly.

Procedure: Seven male participants participated in asch's paradigm study. Participants task was to call out in turn and identify which of the 3 lines were equal to the test line, the answer was obvious. All the participants except 1 were confederates to the experimenter. Genuine/naïve participants were asked to call out their answer last. Confederates gave wrong unanimous answers on 12 out of the 18 trials. These 12 trials were called critical trials. Asch used 50 naïve/genuine participants for the study.

Asch's Paradigm - Conformity Study Aim: To see if majority of the participants would conform to the confederates who gave the wrong answer even when the correct answer was obvious.

Findings: Naïve participants conformed to the wrong unanimous answer on 32% of the critical trials. 74% of participants conformed at least once 26% of participants never conformed. These independent participants were confident in their answer, however they experienced tension and pressure exerted by the majority. Post Experimental Interviews Some participants conformed as they believed the answer given by the majority was correct. Some participants conformed as they didn't want to be excluded or ridiculed by the majority group. Others conformed as they experienced distortions in their judgement, they thought their answer was inaccurate and yielded to the majority. Conclusion: Even in an unambiguous situation, there is a group pressure that forces people to yield to the majority, especially if it is a unanimous majority. Asch concluded that participants conform for different reasons. Some experienced normative social influence - they have the feeling to go along with the group norm to avoid rejection. Some experienced informational social influence - they doubted their own judgement. Research Methods and Ethical Evaluation Asch's study has low ecological and population validity as only white male us college students were used. There is evidence of deception - confederates were being used and confederates deliberately giving wrong unanimous answers. The aim of the confederates was to convince the naïve participants to conform to the majority. Naïve participants didn't know confederates were being used. There is also further use of deception - they way naïve participants were seated arranged.  Participants were deliberately made to give their answers last to the experimenter. This means the participants are subjected to the confederates wrong unanimous wrong answer.in the line task. Participants might have experienced psychological stress or harm as revealed by the post experimental interviews. Participants conformed as they didn't want to be excluded or ridiculed by the group. Participants might have experienced more psychological stress or harm as revealed by the post experimental interviews. Participants conformed as they had doubted their own judgement so yielded to the majority.

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