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Psychology Journal Article Review Essay

Has the influence of others ever affected your decision making skills, or made you question yourself about the decision you made? In the aim to test whether or not pressure from a group of people affects a persons’ ability to conform. Psychologist Solomon E Asch decided to conduct an experiment to justify his theory. Asch gathered college students in groups of eight to ten where they were told that he was only studying visual perception. They were then given a simple line judgment task where the answer was made very obvious.

The task was to decide which one of the lines on the right was identical to the line on the left. This was done over and over again for about eighteen times. However the trick in the experiment was that out of all the students in the group only one student was the one being tested. The rest of the students were instructed to provide incorrect answers to twelve out of the eighteen times they were asked about the lines. Purposely, Asch made sure that the person being experimented sat next-to-the-last person in each group to provide his answer so that he would hear most of the other incorrect answers before giving his own.

They then would see if the individual would keep their choice or just conform to everybody else’s decision just because the majority of the group agreed to it. After the experiment Asch found out that thirty-seven out of fifty students that were being experimented on conformed to the majority’s decision at least once. However, fourteen of the fifty students conformed more than six times during the assessment. Asch being very bothered by these results stated “The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black. This is a matter of concern.

It raises questions about our ways of education and about the values that guide our conduct. ” ( McLeod, S. A. (2007) Simply Psychology [On-line] UK: Available: http://www. simplypsychology. pwp. blueyonder. co. uk/ Accessed: January 17, 2010). After the experiment when the subjects were being asked why they conformed to the answer some of them said that because they did really think that the other answers were correct. Another reason was that they just went along with everybody else’s same opinion because they did were basically afraid of being different of being thought of as dumb or unusual by the rest of his peers.

Due to this Asch came to conclude that people conform for two main reasons one because the individual wants to be liked by the group or maybe because you believe that since you are doing the something different than the rest that they are better informed than you. Asch found out that the aspect that influences conformity is the size of the opposite people having the different opinion than you. He concluded that it is hard to sustain what you see versus something that nobody else sees. Pressure given by the expressed thoughts and opinions of other people can lead to change and alterations successfully making you see almost nothing.

Alteration meaning changing your perception about the way the lines were being viewed in order to match with everybody else. In this assessment the independent variable were all the different students that were being tested with the same people in the room, these same students being there provided the same answers to the question sixteen out of eighteen times. The dependant variable was the test being taken and how many wrong answers were being provided for the subject of the experiment to see. In my opinion these results would have been different if we had paid more attention to the kind of people that were being analyzed.

For example a person having a high self esteem versus someone having no self esteem at all which then would rapidly make them change their decision. This experiment could have been conducted better if they would have taken these factors in mind or if they would have just tested a similar group of people. Here you might have had people that will most likely listen to other people and then you have the people that are not afraid to be different . I think this experiment showed the correct by just a few people not conforming to everybody else’s choices because there are a very few people like that out in the world today .

I think that these results will not really apply to other participants in other places at other experimental times because as stated before maybe not all the subject being tested might have the same mentality to change their answers that quick to be accepted by everyone else. This experiment however has a well contribution to the field of psychology explaining conformity and the different ways that pressure from people has an impact on you. In my cased I believe that everyone should read this experiment and that future edition of ext book should reference this experiment because it would be a great discussion topic and would bring up a good subject to talk about within our peers.

This experiment has an impact in what our society is going thru today I believe we have a lot of individuals that are scared to be different I think this takes part greatly on the media and what he have seen growing up. Many people believe that always conforming to what everybody else is used to is always the right thing but what justifies this? Who has the right to say what is right is right and just because the majority of people believe this way it shouldn’t be the same you think.

We shouldn’t have to format our minds to somebody else’s. That is the whole idea everyone is different in their own individual way which is what makes each and every one of us if not this world would be such a boring place. As reading about this experiment it’s silly but what came to mind was the show how wasn’t to be a millionaire. In that show which I believe you a bit reference on there is choices you have when you don’t know the answer to a question one of the choices is to ask the audience then the audience votes and obviously the contestant picks the answer they got the most votes.

Then it is up to the individual to choose the answer that he thinks it is right nine out ten times the answer that the audience picks is correct which in this case this experiment would not justify the situation. Then we can ask is the individual doubting himself is he afraid to be different? Or in this matter is it not important whether or not they want to be different because there in money involved on the line.

Different situations can alter your decision and decision making skills depending on the situation you are in and whether or not you choose to be different in that particular situation. Whether or not you choose to be different should be your decision and not a group of people. Knowing who you are plays big role in this case and if it is hard for you to find the right path then I think that it is better that you find it on your own first before asking someone else for advice and that is how you will find your true self which will then tell you apart from everybody else.


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