The Forgotten Variable in Conformity Research: The Impact of Task Importance on Social Influence
Competence, Conformity (Personality), Incentives, Social Influences, Task Complexity
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Two studies examined how incentives for accuracy (task importance) affected the social influence of inaccurate confederates in a modified Asch situation (S. E. Asch, 1951). Not unexpectedly, when task difficulty was low, incentives for accuracy reduced the social impact of (inaccurate) confederates (Study 1). However, when task difficulty was increased, the reverse was true, with individuals conforming more to an inaccurate confederate norm when incentives for accuracy were high (Studies 1 and 2). The results are discussed in terms of possible mediating mechanisms and also in terms of their historical and pragmatic implications.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 71, issue 5, p. 915-927
Scholar Commons Citation
Baron, Robert S.; Vandello, Joseph A.; and Brunsman, Bethany, "The Forgotten Variable in Conformity Research: The Impact of Task Importance on Social Influence" (1996). Psychology Faculty Publications. 2294.