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content of the act without limitations of conscience so long as that perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If in this study an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a 50-year-old man and force on him panful electric shocks against his protests one can only wonder what government with itsvastly greater authority and prestige can command of its subjects.Article: Conformity vs. ObedienceConformityis behavior in accordance with group norms or expectations. It is going along with the crowd. We use reference groups to assess and understand how to act, to dress, and to behave. Not surprisingly, young people are particularly aware of who conforms and who does not. A high school boy whose mother makes him wear ironed button-down shirts might protest that he will look stupid––that everyone else wears T-shirts. Another high school boy might like wearing those shirts as a way of standing out. How much do you enjoy being noticed? Do you consciously prefer to conform to group norms so as not to be singled out? Are there people in your class who immediately come to mind when you think about those who don’t want to conform?
Psychologist Solomon Asch (1907–1996) conducted experiments that illustrated how great the pressure to conform is, specifically within a small group (1956). In 1951, he sat a small group of about eight people around a table. Only one of the people sitting there was the true subject; the rest were associates of the experimenter. However, the subject was led to believe that the others were all, like him, people brought in for an experiment in visual judgments. The group was shown two cards, the first card with a single vertical line, and the second card with three vertical lines differing in length. The experimenter polled the group and asked each participant one at a time which line on the second card matched up with the line on the first card.