Conformity and its influence on groups
PsyBlog has an interesting story that could change the way we look at focus groups. On conformity and its influencers. Psychological experiments show that people will deny the evidence of their own eyes in order to conform with other people. Apparently the most important factor influencing conformity, agree or not, is when groups reach 3 to 5 people, adding more people makes no difference. We see sharp decline in the way we agree or disagree if there a consistent dissenter in the group. Some studies have found conformity can be reduced from highs of 97% on a visual judgement task down to only 36%, if there is a steady, consenting dissenter. Moods can have complex effects on conformity, but there’s some evidence that we’re more likely to conform when we’re in a good mood than a bad mood. There’s more on conformity in this wonderful story with lots of very interesting links. Read it all on the PsyBlog.