Solomon Asch was a pioneering psychologist who is best known for his work on social conformity and group dynamics. Born in Poland in 1907, Asch received his PhD in psychology from the University of Warsaw in 1932 and later immigrated to the United States, where he spent most of his career as a professor at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
One of Asch's most famous studies, known as the Asch conformity experiments, was conducted in the 1950s and sought to understand the ways in which individuals are influenced by the opinions of others. In these experiments, Asch brought small groups of people into a laboratory and presented them with a series of tasks that required them to make judgments about simple visual stimuli, such as the length of a line. However, the groups were not made up of all true subjects, but rather included a number of confederates who had been instructed to give wrong answers in order to see how the true subjects would react.
The results of these experiments were shocking: even when the confederates gave obviously incorrect answers, a large percentage of the true subjects went along with them and gave incorrect answers as well. Asch's research showed that people are often influenced by the opinions of others, even when those opinions are clearly wrong, and that this tendency to conform is particularly strong when people are in groups.
In addition to his work on conformity, Asch also made significant contributions to the field of social psychology through his research on group dynamics and decision making. He explored the ways in which groups can influence individuals, as well as the ways in which individuals can influence groups. His research on these topics helped to shed light on the complex and often irrational ways in which people make decisions and interact with others in social situations.
Overall, Solomon Asch's contributions to psychology have had a lasting impact on our understanding of social influence and group dynamics. His research has helped to shed light on the ways in which people are influenced by others, and has influenced the way that psychologists and other researchers study these phenomena.
The Asch Study & Solomon Asch
There were three groups, consisting of a total of 56 subjects. Illusions of reality: A history of deception in social psychology. Therefore they can be easily dominated by a single direction. Further, the written sketches show that the terms "warm-cold" did not simply add a new quality, but to some extent transformed the other characteristics. The relations between the actions of children in the different situations were studied by means of statistical correlations.
Solomon Asch Award :: Psychology :: Swarthmore College
The reader will readily think of other sets of characteristics involving similar processes. Coldness was the foremost characteristic of 1. SET 1: active, helpful, aggressive SET 2: lazy, unhelpful, aggressive SET 3: weak, sensitive, aggressive SET 4: strong, self-centered, aggressive Nineteen out of 20 subjects judge the term to be different in Sets 1 and 2; 17 out of 20 judge it to be different in Sets 3 and 4. He was awarded his masters degree in 1930, followed by a doctoral degree in 1932. The next step was to observe an impression based on a single trait.
Participants were asked to write a brief description of the impression they formed after hearing these characteristics. In addition, Asch really wondered if the subjects who followed the "rigged" general trial did so because they were convinced of the answer they gave. While working on his Ph. As a consequence, the quality "calm" was not the same under the two experimental conditions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 455—477.
We asked the subjects in certain of the groups to rank the terms of Lists A and B in order of their importance for determining their impression. Certain qualities are preponderantly assigned to the "warm" person, while the opposing qualities are equally prominent in the "cold" person. SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE OF IMPRESSIONS The preceding discussion has definite consequences for the perception of identity and difference between the characteristics of different persons. This remarkable capacity we possess to understand something of the character of another person, to form a conception of him as a human being, as a center of life and striving, with particular characteristics forming a distinct individuality, is a precondition of social life. Asch wanted to see if during these 12 trials, which were referred to as the "critical trials" would influence the real participant to conform to the group's general answer.
The confederates behaved in certain ways, while the subjects who were unaware were studied, to see if those who were pretending to be regular participants could influence the unaware subjects. It has been asserted that the general impression "colors" the particular characteristics, the effect being to blur the clarity with which the latter are perceived. Asch found that the fact that a person had previously broken the consensus significantly reduced the number of experimental subjects who bent or complied with the majority's misconception. In the light of these comments, which are representative, we are able to formulate the prevailing direction of the relations within the sets. For Proposition II, the general impression is not a factor added to the particular traits, but rather the perception of a particular form of relation between the traits, a conception which is wholly missing in Ia.
This technique was a powerful lens for examining social influence and gave rise to decades of research on conformity. How the Zebra Got its Stripes: Tales from the Weird and Wonderful World of Evolution. Experiment IV We selected for observation the quality "warm," which was demonstrated to exert a powerful effect on the total impression Experiments I and II. In fact, he is now considered one of the most important psychologists in history. After about a month, the subjects again rated the same quotation but with the true author only listed below the quotation. A control group Group 2 responded only to the entire list of six terms as in Series A of Experiment VI , and answered some of the final questions. A constant error in psychological rating.
1951 Psychologist Solomon Asch's Famous Experiments :: A Brief History :: Swarthmore College
It should be of interest to the psychologist that the far more complex task of grasping the nature of a person is so much less difficult. He found that when only one confederate was present, it did not affect the real participant's answer. Or is it the consequence of discovering a quality within the setting of the entire impression, which may therefore be reached in a single instance? While at Columbia University, Solomon Asch was advised by Max Wertheimer. To mention one example: the term "quiet" often occurred as a synonym of "calm" in both groups, but the subjects may have intended a different meaning in the two cases. For these reasons we employ the check-list results primarily for the purpose of comparing group trends under different conditions. Perception of the upright with displaced visual fields and with body tilted". They could change their hair, clothes, or even attitudes to try to become accepted by a group.
Solomon Asch: One of the Pioneers of Social Psychology
He was born in Warsaw Poland in 1907. Allport has equally stressed the importance of direct perception of a given structure in others, of our capacity for perceiving in others dynamic tendencies. The given characteristics do not all have the same weight for the subject. However, social pressure may also be applied to other fields such as: Politics Residents who display political yard signs may influence other residents in their community to vote for a specific political party Marketing Companies may increase sales by using stats to show that most people in the neighborhood are using a specific product or service Healthcare People who want to improve their health may be encouraged to surround themselves with individuals who have healthy habits such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet Parenting Parents may influence the behaviors their children develop by monitoring the friends they keep Military New recruits are influenced to shave their head, develop combat skills, and follow orders if they want to fit in with the group Education Schools maintain order by ensuring that new students conform to certain existing standards. The protocols Below, which are typical, will show that the "quicks" of Sets 1 and 2 are phenomenally different, and similarly for the "slows" of Sets 3 and 4.