This is a great reminder of perils of conformity in groups. Being exposed in a group creates significant pressure on participants. In this experiment many give what they know is a wrong answer in order to avoid disturbance. In the final experiment in this clip the subject (victim?) of the experiment is asked to write his answers privately, instead of calling them out, and the pressure to conform drops considerably.

It got me thinking about the performance pressure people experience doing improv activities and games. It’s interesting that when we’re playing a rudimentary game that people experience great pressure to “get it right” and actual distress when they “get it wrong”. I might bring up Solomon Asch’s experiments when this happens nrxt.

Hat tip: I spotted this on the Applied Improv Network’s YouTube Channel, AINx

1 thought on “Conformity

  1. Tim Kastelle

    I’ve always thought that this was a pretty mind-blowing experiment. It’s one of those things where you always think “Well, I wouldn’t fall prey to the peer pressure” but it’s really hard to know…


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