Free «Opinions and Social Pressure» Essay Sample

We live in the society and we may not notice it, but it has a great impact on our life. It is absolutely typical to form opinions and later apply them to some notions. Opinions and social pressure are a certain challenge people have to deal with nowadays. A social psychologist Solomon Asch carried out an experiment concerning the impact of opinions and social pressure on individuals. This experiment took place in the early 1950s and showed shocking and powerful results. The experiment included several stages and the number of participants varied from 7 to 9.

One of the aspects in this experiment was the factor of visual judgment. One of the participants was chosen as the dissenter, and all the others were told to give incorrect answers regardless the reality. In such a way, one of the individuals found himself in a minority of one during the experiment. The main factors effecting his further actions and reaction were the evidence of his senses and the unanimous opinion of all the other individuals. One more peculiar feature was the necessity to express and prove your opinion in public. Moreover, there were two alternatives available for the subject, and it was possible to make the choice whether to act independently and remain of the same opinion, or join the majority. Those individuals who showed independence in their answers can be characterized either by confidence in their personal judgment or an ability to recover from doubt. The experiment also proved the impact of optical illusion that caused the majority follow the first responder. Moreover, the size of the majority turned out to be an important indicator during the process of decision-making. However, the size of the opposition can be considered to be crucial only up to a specific point. Besides, such an experiment showed that life in society is rather complicated and may require consensus as a necessary condition.


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