Asch Conformity Experiments - Interpretations - Social Comparison Theory

Social Comparison Theory

The conformity demonstrated in Asch experiments is problematic for social comparison theory, which suggests that we have a drive to validate our beliefs; we typically do this through simple observation. However, when we cannot do this (i.e., when something is ambiguous), we validate our beliefs through evaluation of the beliefs of others. Accepting the beliefs of others as reality is known as informational influence. Thus, social comparison theory predicts that when physical reality testing yields uncertainty, social reality testing, or informational influence will arise. The Asch conformity experiments demonstrated that uncertainty can arise as an outcome of social reality testing. In relation, this inconsistency has been used to support the position that the theoretical distinction between social reality testing and physical reality testing, as well as the distinction between informational influence and normative influence, are untenable.

Read more about this topic:  Asch Conformity Experiments, Interpretations

Other articles related to "social comparison theory, comparisons":

Social Comparison Theory - Criticisms
... actually seek out dissimilar others in their comparisons maintaining that this is important for providing valuable self-knowledge, as demonstrated in research ...

Famous quotes containing the words theory, social and/or comparison:

    ... the first reason for psychology’s failure to understand what people are and how they act, is that clinicians and psychiatrists, who are generally the theoreticians on these matters, have essentially made up myths without any evidence to support them; the second reason for psychology’s failure is that personality theory has looked for inner traits when it should have been looking for social context.
    Naomi Weisstein (b. 1939)

    The difference between style and taste is never easy to define, but style tends to be centered on the social, and taste upon the individual. Style then works along axes of similarity to identify group membership, to relate to the social order; taste works within style to differentiate and construct the individual. Style speaks about social factors such as class, age, and other more flexible, less definable social formations; taste talks of the individual inflection of the social.
    John Fiske (b. 1939)

    From top to bottom of the ladder, greed is aroused without knowing where to find ultimate foothold. Nothing can calm it, since its goal is far beyond all it can attain. Reality seems valueless by comparison with the dreams of fevered imaginations; reality is therefore abandoned.
    Emile Durkheim (1858–1917)