EFFECTS OF PRIOR GROUP SUPPORT ON CONFORMITY: AN EXTENSION.
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK BUFFALO
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The study extends a line of investigation evaluating the effects of prior group support on conformity. Conditions of prior group support were manipulated by experimentally varying the proportion of group members who appeared to agree with the Ss judgments of an unambiguous stimulus. Their subsequent conformity was assessed by means of the usual Asch-Crutchfield procedure. For 100 support, the group appeared to agree unanimously with Ss judgment on each of an initial set of 20 trials for 75 support, 3 out of 4 group members appeared to agree with S for 50 support, 2 members agreed and 2 members disagreed with S 1 member of the group appeared to agree with S for a 25 support condition and for a control condition, S received no feedback as to the others responses on the initial set of trials. Ten male and 10 female undergraduate students were run under each of these conditions. Mean conformity varied as a function of both sex and level of group support, with 100 support yielding the highest level of conformity for both sexes, and 75 support resulting in the lowest level of conformity. The results were interpreted in terms of the mediating effects of support on Ss confidence at the task and their expectancies with regard to how others view appropriate task behavior. Author