The normative social influence was extensively researched upon by Asch who conducted experiments on groups to determine the effect of a group on the conformity of one individual. In the experiment Asch seated a group of people on a table and made them answer to questions. In majority of the cases, the individuals in the group tended to conform and give a response which was agreed upon by the group as being the correct answer. It was therefore determined that the factors that were affecting the conformity of an individual pertained to what the group was like and the effect it had on the individual.
The experiment by Asch was criticized on the basis that it was unrealistic and that when it comes to making decisions and social conformity in the real world, much more complex factors come into play. Moreover when the decision taken pertains to a sensitive topic or a complex problem, people tend to take more time to deliberate on it and also depict tendencies of protecting their idea and point of view across the board. “On more complex issues, we could reasonably expect that a variety of shades of opinion might be expressed, giving us more chance to argue our point of view. On the other hand, though, just think what the studies reveal. They suggest that group pressure can be so strong that we are willing to deny the evidence of our own eyes for the sake of conformity with the rest of the group.” (‘Social Influence – Conformity’)
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