Asch conformity experiments

Created: January 9, 2024
Updated: February 26, 2024

Asch Conformity Test were tests by Solomon Eliot Asch (wikipedia link) to see how suggestible people were to the crowd around them.

How the test worked

  • The test subject was sat with a number of actors (unknown to the subject)

  • The subject and actors were given a piece of paper with 4 lines drawn on it

    • Two were the same length

    • Two were different lengths

  • Sometimes actors gave truthful answers

  • Sometimes actors were instructed to give false answers


About 1/3 of the subjects gave obviously false answers in a particular repetition. Over the course of 18 repetitions, about 75% of subjects gave a false answer.

The test sought to show that people go along with the crowd. It only showed this partially, and wasn’t true for everyone.

Further reading