wondered by Joana Galhardo Tags

Solomon Asch wanted to run a series of studies that would document the power of conformity, for the purpose of depressing everyone who would ever read the results.

So the experiment consisted in telling the subjects that they would be taking part in a vision test, along with a handful of people. The participants were then shown pictures, and individually asked to answer very simple and obvious questions.

The catch was that everybody else in the room other than the subject was in on it, and they were told to give obviously wrong answers.

So would the subject go against the crowd, even when the crowd was clearly and retardedly wrong?

All they had to do was say which line on the right matched the one on the left.

As you can see, Asch wasn't exactly asking these people to design the next space station. Really, the only way you could get the answer honestly wrong is if you took two doses of LSD that morning and rubbed them directly on your eyeballs.

Yet, sadly, 32% of subjects would answer incorrectly if they saw that three others in the classroom gave the same wrong answer. Even when the line was plainly off by a few inches, it didn't matter. One in three would follow the group right off the proverbial cliff.
Now imagine how much that 32% figure inflates when the answers are less black and white. We all tend to laugh with the group even when we didn't get the joke, or doubt our opinion we realize ours is unpopular among our group.

So much for those lectures you got about peer pressure and 'being brave enough to be yourself.'

Wonder about that!