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What is conformity ? Explain Solomon Asch ’s study on conformity.

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Conformity is defined as a tendency to change one’s beliefs and behaviors in ways that are consistent with group standards. Conformity also involves yielding to group pressures. These pressures can be implicit or explicit, real or imagined. Thus, it is going along with the group or behaving in a way that is consistent with majority. 

Solomon Ash’s Study on Conformity : Asch in his experiment, took five male students who participated in a study on perception, where they sat around a table and had to judge the length of lines. They were shown a card where three lines of varying length are drawn and a second card where only one line was drawn. 

Social Comparison : The five male students had to judge which line on the first card was most similar to the line on the second card in terms of length. One of the lines was exactly the same length. The five subjects each uttered their responses aloud. The judgement’s were easy and there were no disagreements

Social Disapproval : Then a second set of line was presented and finally a third. At this point the experiment was quite dull. On the third trial, the first subject gave an answer which was wrong. The second, third and fourth subject also followed. When it was time for the fifth subject, he was disturbed and it was clearly visible that the answer were wrong.

Need to be liked and accepte : Under this circumstances, people sitting in the fifth position sometime gave a wrong answer even though they knew which was the right answer. 

Thus people conform even though doing so means contradicting their own perceptions of the world. In many cases, the individuals continue to believe that their private judgments are correct and the group is wrong. Nevertheless, when they are asked to respond publicly they give the same wrong answers that other give.

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