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Group Size and Conformity

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Bond, Rod

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Abstract This paper reviews theory and research on the relationship between group size and conformity and presents a meta-analysis of 125 Asch-type conformity studies. It questions the assumption of a single function made in formal models of social influence and proposes instead that the function will vary depending on which social influence process predominates. It is argued that normative influence is likely to be stronger when participants make public responses and are face-to-face with the majority, whereas informational influence is likely to be stronger when participants make private responses and communicate with the majority indirectly. The meta-analysis finds that the relationship differs according to whether public or private responses are obtained and whether an Asch or Crutchfield paradigm is employed. Future research needs to identify how the relationship varies depending on different social influence processes elicited by features of the task and setting.
Free Keywords conformity; meta-analysis; social-influence;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 331-354
Journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 8 (2005) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)