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In the 1950s, a famous psychologist Solomon Asch conducted an experiment geared towards determining the extent to which pressure from a dominant individual affected the decisions made by other participants. Hence, in this academic writing will criticize Asch’s 1951 experiment on group conformity. According to Brain (2000), the first criticism is based on the age of the participants which reflected their level of experience in life related matters and they were all male subjects. Hence, there has been evidence to suggest that females are more conformist than males, this mean that the findings cannot be applied to women.
In addition, they were all considerably young and the sample was not representative of the target population. Therefore, if they were older participants, would have provided better findings since they are more mature and have experienced different life situations. These accompanied by the fact that older people have more mental strength meant that they could have held to their convictions as regarding to what they believed was the true answers to the questions provided.
In addition to this, the participants were undergraduates and therefore more intelligent than the target population. This may have had an effect on the results, (Weiten, 2009).
According to Hill (2001) this experiment had no ecological underpinnings. This simply means that the experiment and the findings could not apply in most real life situations because the environment under which the experiment was conducted was controlled and there was no room for influence from other factors such as emotions, morals and personal perception.
Further on, the experiment was disregarded by the findings of concurrent experiments which showed that the level of conformity was minimal if the participants wrote down their answers. Thus, the experiments were done in the fifties. And such, experiments conducted in recent times cannot yield the same results. This is so different from today’s society where people exercise their rights and are less ignorant.
In conclusion, group pressure has been seen as the most prevalent cause of social problems because it leads to group think. This means that individuals feel obligated to agree to a dominant decision within a group. This leads to a situation whereby other opinions are suppressed and alternative solutions are not fully analyzed.
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