Without physical presence, he placed subjects in individual cubicles with electronic display boards which supposedly let each subject know what the others had answered. However each were believed to be the last to answer and presented them with uniformly wrong group answers on half the tasks. He tests over 600 subjects using various stimuli.
- Asch’s line comparison test - 30% conformity
- 46% conformity that a picture of a star had a larger surface area than a circle (when it was 1/3 smaller)
- 37% agreement to the statement ‘I doubt that I would make a good leader’ which none agreed to when asked on their own.
- Gave an insight to conformity
Criticisms of conformity:
- Artificiality - Above studies used well controlled and standardised procedures but reflected conformity under laboratory conditions, meaningless stimuli
- It is not etic as this type of conformity was true for USA in the 1950s but it may differ over time and for different cultures
- Ethics - subjects were deceived