What did Solomon Asch study?
In the 1950s, he conducted studies on conformity. "Are all the lines on the chalkboard the same length?" experiment
Conformity means yielding to imagined or real social pressure.
His experiment showed that there were two factors that increase the likelihood of people conforming:
- 1 - group size
- 2 - group unanimity
What did Milgram study before his famous teacher/learner experiment?
"Can I have your seat on the bus?" experiment
- 1 - Inhibitory anxiety prevents us from breaking social norms
- 2 - We have a need to justify our actions after breaking the social norms
- 3 - The power of immediate circumstance on how we feel and behave is immense
What was Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment?
"I was just following orders" experiment.
In a teacher/learner context, subject applied increasingly high voltage shocks when the learner gave a wrong answer. 65% delivered all voltages because the researcher (authority) told them they he took responsibility, or because he ordered them to do so.
Subsequent studies (22 hospitals study) show that if you have a chance to confer with someone or you know what you are doing, your chances of resisting authority figures increase.
What did Darley and Latane study?
In 1968, they showed the "bystander effect". In a group situation, responsibility for acting to provide help to a person in distress is diffused. People alone will help in 75% of cases, while a group watching a situation will only help in 53% of cases.
What did Zimbardo study?
In 1973, Zimbardo et al demonstrated the importance of social roles. Students randomly assigned roles as prisoners or prison guards quickly began behaving in conformity with those social roles, regardless of their personality.
What did Loftus study?
In 1974-75, Loftus showed eyewitness testimony needs to be considered carefully as it is likely unreliable.
"The Stop Sign" experiment. Short movie showing a car failing to stop at a stop sign, causing a collision. Asking a question about how fast the car was going when it ran the stop sign made people remember the sign - 53% vs (35% when no sign is mentioned).
In 1977, she showed memories can be compromised - a green car goes by, subjects are asked about the "blue' car. Those who got the false info had trouble picking out the colour on a colour wheel.
In 1978, experiment on inserting false objects into memory: did you see the/a broken headlight?