In 1956, Solomon Asch carried out one of the most famous studies in social psychology, a study so influential that it even spawned its own scientific law. The Asch effect is a tendency for individuals to blindly follow the decisions and behaviours of a unanimous majority.
To recap: Asch recruited male student volunteers to take part in ‘a test of their vision’. In fact, in each study there was only one ‘real’ participant, and all the others were confederates of the experimenter. Participants undertook trials in which they were shown a line and had to pick one of matching length from three comparison lines. The aim of Asch’s study was to see how the real participants reacted when the confederates all gave a different judgment to the one the participant judged as correct.
Your organisation does not have access to this article.
Sign up today to give your students the edge they need to achieve their best grades with subject expertiseSubscribe