Over the past 120+ years since the advent of psychology, there have been many experiments in the subjects related to a vast plethora of subjects/disorders/situations etc.
These experiments are notable and give vast number of explanations as to why things occur the way they do in psychology from a scientific and objective point of view.
Asch Conformity Experiment
Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform.
Using a line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a room with seven confederates who had agreed in advance what their responses would be when presented with the line task but real participant did not know this and was led to believe that the other seven confederates were also real participants like themselves. Every person had to tell which was the target line and the subject had to tell it last always.
It was seen that about 75% of participants conformed at least once, and 25% of participants never conformed.
In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1% of participants gave the wrong answer! This had proved that people conformed with the rest of the group due to the feeling of being ridiculed or felt like a fool.
This showed us obedience to authority and that people who obey to the most dangerous of orders and humans have a universal propensity to destructive obedience.
The participant(given 4 $ every hour to be part of this) was paired with a confederate and placed in different rooms.
The participant acted as teacher and the confederate as the learner where the participant had to say words in paired association and the confederate had to repeat them. If the confederate erred he was given and electric shock starting from 15 volts all the way upto 450 volts.
In real the confederate who is in on the experiment was not given any shock in the other room but just had to scream as if he were given the shock.
Milgram was horrified by the results of this study. In the “remote condition” version of the experiment described above, 65 percent of the subjects (26 out of 40) continued to inflict shocks right up to the 450-volt level, despite the learner’s screams. Moreover, once participants had reached 450 volts, they obeyed the experimenter’s instruction to deliver 450-volt shocks if the confederate gave the wrong answer.
These are just 2 of the interesting psychology experiments that we will learn about this week !
- Soumya Gulati