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There are many studies concerning whether peoples judgement ias affected by other peoples views. However the three main ones are Ash, Jenness, and Sherif. Sherif Sherif made use of the auto kinetic effect (a point of light which moves erratically when viewed in darkness.).He asked participants, how far they thought the spot had moved. The light however remained stationary, but small movements in the eye gave the impression thatthe light was moving. They all gave different answers and all were consistant. When they were asked in groups, thier answers became the same, althoughthey were not told to work in groups together, which created a norm, that is necesary in ambigous situations. The fact that the group norm rapidly replaced that of the personal norm, shows the existance of social influence.

AschParticipants were asked to judge thelength of the line in comparison with a test card, which was shown to them. the first five people were confederates of the experimenter answered the questions wrong in order to see if the sixth person would conform, and give an obvious wrong answer, because those previous had done so. The findings were that thirty-two percent conformed on a regular basis, seventy five conformed at least once, twenty-five did not conform at all, and five percent conformed all the time.

Jenness Jenness asked individual students to estimate the number of beans in a jam jar, and then arranged them to discuss thier guesses. Later when asked to give thier answers again, he found that thier answers were alot closer to that of the rest of the groups. All of the above studies used only male participants, so the results can’t be generalised. My study will not only include females but will compare males to females to see if it is acceptable to generalise male results to the whole population. The findings of all the above research will relate to my study as it gives me an insight into conformity, and I can try to avoid problems by studing them first.

AIM The aim of this study will be to see if gender effects the rate of conformity, because Jenness’s 1932 study didn’t take gender in to account and he only used male participants (which is unacceptable to generalise male results to the whole population), assuming that female rates or conformity were the same as male ones. This study will replicate Jenness’s 1932 study.
The apparatus that was used during the course of this experiment consisted of 68 marbles, 1 plastic jar, and 20 answer sheets. All answer sheets had sets of numbers on them, which were either higher or lower than the actual amount of marbles in the jar. This would see whethger or not the participants conformed or not.

Procedure

Before the investigation began the marbles were counted and put into the small plastic jar. This number was needed was noted for future reference. After this 20 answer sheets were prepared, which contained 10 high estimates and 10 low estimates. The answer sheets were all handwritten as to not induce suspicion of the participants. This however raises ethical questions about not telling the participants, however once the experiment was over all the participants were fully debriefed.The answer sheets have 7 spaces, 5 of which had been falsely filled in, to see if people would conform when answering.

All of the participants were all studying in Handsworth grammar School’s lower sixth form, and were all aged between 16 and 19 years of age. To ensure control procedures were standardised. To ensure confidentiality the participants were asked thier age and gender, not thier name or other details. Participants were shown the jar of marbles. Five males and five females were given the high estimate sheets and the remaining five males and five females were given the low estimate sheets, to record thier estimates.

Once they had completed filling in thier sheets, they were fully debriefed. They were also told the actual amount in the jar. This minised the original deception. The resul;ts were placed into tables, which compared the differences between males and females. Results This investigation was constructed to determine the conformity rates between males and females. To give an indication of the typical answers males and females would give, an independant group design was used.

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