CONFORMITY AND INDEPENDENCE REVISITED

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Abstract:

This study aimed at investigating whether conformity in the experimental setting suggested by Asch was particularly related to American culture and less likely to be replicable elsewhere - e. g. in Portugal - as has been suggested more recently. Thus, Asch's classic conformity and independence experiment was replicated, using women psychology students in a Portuguese university as minority of one, unanimous majority group, and control Ss. The original procedure was re-enacted as similarly as possible using a computer program. Among “critical” Ss 59% conformed at least once, 28% yielded three to twelve times. Among control Ss 27% erred at least once, 3.3% made more than three errors. These differences between critical and control Ss were significant. Thus, recent university students in Portugal showed that the degree of conformity to a unanimous peer-group opinion remains observable. They reported considerable distress under the group pressure.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1995.23.3.217

Publication date: January 1, 1995

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