Conformity Experiment

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Conformity Experiment

Postby Sabina » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:03 am

This experiment is a classic on conformity and has inspired many others to probe deeper. Basically, it is about people saying that 2+2 equals 5, just because the majority says so.

Solomon Asch - Line Judge Experiment, 1951

Another thought for consideration - How much does conformity have to do with being awakened? Possibly nothing at all. What is that something that makes some people stand their ground in such a situation, while others' visual (or other) judgment is affected?

Related topic: Milgram's obedience experiment
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Conformity= Loosing Identity

Postby mirjana » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:17 am

As much as this is great experiment, it is as sad and tragically evident how people destroy their identity and independence step by step by agreeing with the group opinion automatically
I think that this is very much connected to the level of awareness. Otherwise we wouldn’t have Irene Morgan, Rosa Parks and many other who were able to stand for personal stand point and right to be that what they were. Actually the whole Time Machine is full of such deep spirits, who were that mostly for being able not to follow group level of consciousness but opposing a self-understanding flow of common opinion by bringing authentically and fresh personal ideas. To be such a spirit one has to have courage and self-awareness.


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PS: Great topic Sabina.
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Re: Conformity Experiment

Postby Sabina » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:35 pm

Yes... but some of these people who gave the wrong answers knew that they did, and did so anyway, while others completely disregarded their own visual judgment and believed that the group must be right. Some even went as far as seeing "the same wrong" as the group did, so they in a way went blind.

It seems to me that these differences might have something to do with awareness, but perhaps the ability to actually speak out - when it's plain to see that everyone else is wrong - has to do with self-confidence as well. Hence, a logical conclusion would be that a large percentage of the population simply lacks the necessary self-confidence to act according to their beliefs (even if they do have beliefs).

In real life situations conformity can be just plain wrong, although sometimes we should be careful not the judge the real-life-conformists too easily. For example, it's always easier to be a rebel when you are alone and have no one else to think of, such as children, or a partner. When you do, then your actions, your rebellion, can possibly affect them as well.

I am not saying that anyone should conform, but that's it's easier to explain or excuse conforming in such a case. So, what can a person do when they think that something is wrong, but speaking out can negatively effect not only themselves but also their dear ones?
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Re: Conformity Experiment

Postby Pat » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:26 am

I think I would answer that with a quote ..."To thy own self be true". I think that several experiments have been done on this and about 80% of people will conform with the crowd ... follow any path as long as there are several others there.
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Re: Conformity Experiment

Postby Sabina » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:31 pm

Pat wrote:... follow any path as long as there are several others there.

And what if there aren't several others there?
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Re: Conformity Experiment

Postby mirjana » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:17 pm

I can imagine that without being able to rely upon self one is lost, as the time always comes when nobody will be out there except self and personal abilities to manage life lessons.
The sooner one learns this, the better.
The problem is though that the whole educational system does exactly the opposite, by destroying self reliability and encouraging obedience and following the rules and the crowd.


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Re: Conformity Experiment

Postby Pat » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:59 pm

Sabina wrote:
Pat wrote:... follow any path as long as there are several others there.

And what if there aren't several others there?


But there is always someone ready to lead and the crowd will always follow... Most people never think for themselves at least this has been my experience. If someone has a different thought they will be kicked out of the crowd because we know that if they think differently then we may be wrong..So we will all stick together and have the same thoughts and know we are right.
Being sarcastic here :)
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