Research Blog Assignment #2.

Bond, Rod, and Peter B. Smith. “Culture and Conformity: A Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Asch’s (1952b, 1956) Line Judgment Task,.” Ed. Robert J. Steinberg. Psychological Bulletin 119.1 (1996): 111-37.ProQuest. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.

McLeod, Saul A. “Asch Experiment.” Simply Psychology. N.p., 2008. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html>.

In the psychological journal, copyright by the American Psychological Association- Culture and Conformity: A Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Asch’s (1952b, 1956) Line Judgment Task, by Rod Bond and Peter B. Smith determines that countries labeled as collectivist, show higher levels of conformity than individualistic countries and conformity research must focus more on the cultural variables that are involved in social influence. The concentrated focus of the sections read deal with Comparisons Across Cultures, Comparisons Within a Culture at Different Periods in Its History and Individual-Collectivism.

First and foremost, to understand the underpinnings of this journal, the explanation of Asch’s Line Judgement Task is as follows (factors increasing conformity). Size of Group, Difficulty of Task and Status of Majority Group are all increasing factors of conformity-according to Asch (1952,1956). “Conformity tends to increase as the size of the group increases”, when uncertainty is present-we look to others for confirmation…with the more severity of the task leads to greater the conformity and the higher status of the group (boss or managerial positions-more influence) people will conform their opinions more. (McLeod, Asch Experiment, 2008)

With the evidence provided, the attention now turns to Bond and Smith’s compilation. Comparisons Across Culture’s section projects that high food-accumulating societies (pastoral/agricultural societies example: Temne of Sierra Leone) rendered around obedience and responsibility where as low food-accumulating societies ( hunting and fishing peoples example: Eskimo of Baffin Island/Canada) rendered around independence and individual achievement. When comparing these societies to one’s of greater exposure to Western Society, “exposure to Western values leads to a weakening of traditional norms and to less cross-cultural variation in conformity.” (Bond & Smith, 112)

Comparisons Within a Culture at Different Periods in Its History explains that advocating for individuality and questioning of status quo in universities in American society show greater results in the 1980s versus the 1950s. In 1988, conformity had declined again, reflecting the increase in protest activities. Though, vast importance weighs on the relation of conformity levels to measures of cultural values, which in turn will mediate responses to group pressure. (Bond & Smith, 112)

Individual-Collectivism gives the over-view that in individualist cultures, majority of social behavior is largely determined by personal goals/the self is conceived as separate from society and in collectivist cultures, social behavior is determined by goals shared with a collective of persons and emotional dependence on organizations and institutions. (Bond & Smith, 114)

KEY QUOTES: 

-“He felt that conformity can “pollute” the social process and that it is important for a society to foster values of independence in its citizens.”

-“Iscoe, Williams, and Harvey (1964) found less conformity among Black women compared with White women.”

– “exposure to Western values leads to a weakening of traditional norms and to less cross-cultural variation in conformity.”

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