Social Experiment – The Asch Experiment – 1950s | Solomon Asch
The Asch conformity experiments, conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1950s, were a series of studies designed to investigate how social pressure from a majority group could influence a person to conform.
In the experiment, participants were asked to complete a simple perceptual task, and they were surrounded by confederates who intentionally gave the wrong answers. The results showed that about one-third of the participants conformed to the incorrect answers, even when the correct answer was clear to see. The participants often gave in to group pressure, even though they knew the answers were wrong, due to normative social influence and the desire to fit in.
The Asch experiment is related to conformity and groupthink as it demonstrates the power of social influence and the tendency of individuals to conform to the majority view, even when it is clearly incorrect. This phenomenon is known as the Asch effect, which refers to the influence of a group majority on an individual's judgment or behavior. The experiment also revealed the impact of group pressure on individual decision-making and the potential for groupthink, where the desire for harmony or conformity in a group can result in irrational or dysfunctional decision-making.
Source: Asch conformity experiments