The Effect Of Group Conformity On The Face Of Uncertain Circumstances

1302 Words Oct 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Numerous experiments conducted reveal the effect of group conformity in the face of uncertain circumstances. Solomon Asch’s line conformity experiments and Muzafer Sherif autokinetic effect tests are two classic examples of social conformity research. Moutoussis, Dolan, & Dayan, (2016) state, “First, alignment with others is explicitly sought when conformity is itself rewarded. Second, choices converge if conformity is not rewarded but choices result explicitly from shared information about the state of the world” (p. 2). When uncertainty about the “state of the world” is involved, group conformity is especially likely (Kenrick, Neuberg, & Cialdini, 2015, p. 191). Attempting to observe this effect myself, I recreated Muzafer Sherif’s autokinetic effect experiment. What I observed, however, was not social conformity, rather positive group interaction and interdependence.
Six subjects participated in the experiment, four male and two female, ranging in age from 11 years to 53 years. The experiment was conducted in a private home where a darkened room was prepared. The subjects were tested individually first, then in two groups of three. A spot of light from a laser pointer was projected onto a wall for one to two minutes. Perception of movement, from the autokinetic effect, was recorded for each individual. Two subjects with similar individual movement recorded were grouped together with a third participant who reported dissimilar movement, either greater or lesser. The…

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