Group conformity

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Group conformity concept was scientifically proved and described by Salomon Asch. Asch conformity experiment began in the room in which they were associates of Asch (a group of students, made up of seven, eight or nine people) he introduced a real person - test subject -which did not know that other people are co-workers of experimenter. Then showed them two boards.

At first there was one line on the other three lines have consecutive numbers (1, 2, 3). They asked each participant to evaluate which of the three lines on the second board is closest to the line length of the first board and only then loudly express their opinions. The actual person being investigated to assess the length of episodes was the second or last, so after hearing the evaluations of others.

Timing of Asch conformity study

The length of the segments was so diverse that under normal conditions, the answer was very simple. Associates of experimenter, formerly instructed by him in most, of the trials gave answers not compatible with the reality, argued that the short line was much longer than it actually was, or vice versa (they had to give the wrong answer in 12 to 16 tests).

It turned out that in this type of situation about 1/3 of the responses of real people was consistent with the responses of colleagues of the experimenter and therefore incompatible with reality. What was the mechanism of succumbing to group pressure?

Conclusions of Asch experiment - group conformity effect

Asch concluded that: the larger group exerting pressure, the greater the degree of undergoing the pressure. The second important social factor influencing the level of succumbing to group pressure (group conformity) is the unanimity of the persons exercising pressure on the test subject:

  • if only one person spoke opinions inconsistent with the opinion of exerting pressure, it succumbed to the pressure of the respondents to a much lesser extent than if all those exerting pressure were unanimous,
  • if one of the co-experimenter, who initially gave assessments in accordance with reality, joined to the majority with inconsistent assessment, so that they were unanimous, the real subjects significantly increased the number of incorrect answers.