Solomon Ash's Theory Of Social Psychology

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Social Psychology
In any social set-up, members have a natural proclivity to conform to the general norms of the group in order to be accepted. This phenomenon was demonstrated by Solomon Ash in 1955 through a simple experiment. He put participants in a group and asked them to answer a series of simple questions whose answers seem obvious to everyone. It was observed that when other group members had chosen a wrong answer for a very easy question, the remaining member of the group was likely to go for the wrong answer and leave out the right answer that they knew. In such a situation, a person deliberately chooses the wrong answer in order to conform to what the rest of the group has chosen.
Several other studies have been carried out with
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In general, the collective knowledge of the group is assumed to be greater than that of the individual. Therefore, when one is unsure or does not know something completely, he will naturally follow what the rest of the group are saying or doing. For example, in Ash’s test, the last respondent decided to follow the rest in picking what he felt was a wrong answer because he doubted himself at that moment. He felt it was more likely that the answer on his mind was wrong, as opposed to the rest of the group being wrong. This kind of conformity arises as a result of informational social influence.
Informational social influence occurs because one sees others as sources of information. In many situations, people do not know how to act so they choose to follow what others are doing. When in an ambiguous situation, one feels that the interpretation of others is correct and will help in making the right choice. Informational social influence commonly happens in crisis situations where there is panic and uncertainty. People are also likely to follow the behaviour of someone they think is an expert. Someone with knowledge or expertise is seen by the rest as a guide when in ambiguous
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Norms are able to guide behaviour directly when they are focal, and when activated, the two types of norms elicit significantly different behavioural responses. For public information campaigns to be effective, communicators must recognize the distinct impacts of the two types of norms, and target their message to the norm that is consistent with the goal. However, this is not what usually happens; for example, public officials are inclined to mobilize the public to action against a socially-unacceptable conduct by complaining that it is too frequent. Inadvertently, they end up implanting the wrong descriptive norm in the minds of the

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