Asch Experiment - Conformity in Groups
The Asch Experiment, by Solomon Asch, was a famous experiment designed to test how peer pressure to conform would influence the judgment and individuality of a test subject. The experiment is related closely to the Stanford Prison and Milgram Experiments, in that it tries to show how perfectly normal human beings can be pressured into unusual behavior by authority figures, or by the consensus of opinion around them. For the experiment, eight subjects were seated around a table, with the seating plan carefully constructed to prevent any suspicion. Only one participant was actually a genuine subject for the experiment, the rest being confederates, carefully tutored to give certain pre-selected responses. The experiment was simple in its construction; each participant, in turn, was asked to answer a series of questions, such as which line was longest or which matched the reference line. The figures did not change much after this point; more confederates made little difference.