Replicating Asch (1951) conformity experiment, Candid Camera program "Face the rear" revealed our tendency to mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces in the elevator. (Zimbardo, 2007). We would like to replicate the elevator experiment to evaluate the reasons and theories behind conformity in daily life. Nave participants were expected to conform to our uncommon behavior by facing inward in an elevator. A small percentage of them did. This report will provide the project summary and critical evaluation in the latter part.
We live under a society where our behavior is under the control of unwritten social norms, which reign over appropriate elevator demeanor. Under some circumstances, conformity manifests its power to influence us to make wrong decisions. Sometimes we lose the confidence to voice out correct answer and follow the majority blindly. McLeod (2009) defined conformity as a type of social influence involving a change in behavior in order to fit in with a group. In our study, participants who capitulated to our group pressure by facing inward in an elevator best illustrate the power of conformity. The fear of being different makes people seek for approval from others, even when they do not need it. It is crucial to cultivate independence values in our society to go against conformity. .
With the aim of investigating theories behind conformity in daily life, we conducted the experiment at the East Gate elevator of University of Hong Kong in a group of seven. My confederates and I acted as if we did not know each other and we began by entering elevator together with nave participants. All of us would face outward in the elevator when we walked in. Responses of 20 nave participants were observed and recorded. With manipulation, we repeated the experiment with another situation. When we entered the elevator, some of us would face inward initially while some of us turned inward after a short while.