Leadership and conformity Sociologists have been especially interested in two forms of group behavior: conformity and leadership . The pressure to conform within small groups can be quite powerful. Many people go along with the majority regardless of the consequences or their personal opinions. Nothing makes this phenomenon more apparent than Solomon Asch's classic experiments from the 1950s and 1960s. Asch assembled several groups of student volunteers and then asked the subjects which of the three lines on a card was as long as the line on another card. Each of the student groups had only one actual subject; the others were Asch's secret accomplices, whom he had instructed to provide the same, though absurdly wrong, answer. The experimenter found that almost one-third of the subjects changed their minds and accepted the majority's incorrect answer. The pressure to conform is even stronger among people who are not strangers. During
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This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course SOCI 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.