Replication of the "Asch Effect" in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Evidence for the Moderating Role of Group Similarity in Conformity
Keywords:conformity, Asch effect, self-categorization theory, group similarity
AbstractIn the present study, we tried to replicate a classic Asch effect in the cultural context of BosniaHerzegovina and to explore the potential impact of group similarity on conformity. To answer these questions Bosniak (Muslim) students (N = 95) performed classic Asch's line judgment task in the presence of five confederates (the majority) who were ostensibly either of a similar ethnic origin (ingroup), different ethnic origin (out-group) or no salient ethnic origin. The task involved choosing one of three comparison lines that was equal in length to a test line. Each participant went through 18 test trials including 12 critical trials in which confederates provided an obviously wrong answer. In line with past research, the results revealed a clear-cut and powerful "Asch effect" wherein participants followed the majority in 35.4% of critical trials. More importantly, this effect was moderated by group similarity. Thus, in comparison to no salient group identity condition, conformity was maximized in the in-group majority condition and minimized in the out-group majority condition. Taken together, our results support the universal finding of "Asch effect" and provide clear evidence that similarity with the majority plays an important role in the conformity phenomenon.