In 1951, Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to investigate the extent of which social pressures can affect a person’s behaviour. In this experiment, he asked, “Which line is the longest out of the three given?“. In an individual setting, 99% of people answered correctly. However, when put in a room of actors instructed to answer incorrectly, nearly 75% of all participants gave at least one incorrect answer throughout 12 trials.

People conform for two main reasons:

  1. They want to fit in with the group (normative influence)
  2. They believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence)