This week in psychology we looked at conformity. We conducted an experiment similar to the Jenness test. Participants in our experiment were asked to guess the number of sweets in a glass jar. Would the participants give a similar answer? They didn’t know that the other people in the group had been briefed and were all giving similar but clearly wrong answers. We used a convenience sample which meant we asked teachers and students from around college to take part. So … what did we find? There were mixed rates of conformity. The Maths teachers did not conform and instead calculated the number of sweets and in each case gave answers which was close to the correct number of sweets. This fits in with the theory that when people know what they are doing or are experts they are less likely to conform. This is referred to as Informational Social Influence. It was interesting to see that where there was conformity was in the handling of the jar itself. When the confederates touched and handled the jar so did the participants. As we had a small sample size it is possible that these results were skewed. If you took part in this experiment or want to know more about psychology do join the new Psychology CCA starting next term.
Subject Lead Psychology