Opinions and Social Pressure

Asch, Soloman E. “Opinions and Social Pressure” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 4th custom ed. for York College. Ed. Laurence Behrens, and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Pearson, 2011. 726-731.

Vocabulary

unanimous – adj. of one mind; in complete agreement

dissenter – n.  a person who disagrees

arbitrary – adj. uncontrolled or unrestricted by law; unreasonable; unsupported:

collusion – n. a secret agreement, conspiracy

repudiate – v.  to reject

succumb – v. to give way to superior force; yield

staunch – adj. firm or steadfast; strong

equilibrium –n.   mental or emotional balance

construe – v. explain; interpret

deplete – v. to decrease seriously or exhaust

flagrant – adj. shockingly noticeable or evident; obvious; glaring:

consensus – n. general agreement

Vocabulary Exercise

Choose the lettered word or phrase that is most nearly similar in meaning to the word in capital letters.

1.  FLAGRANT

(A) obscure    (B) obvious   (C)  present   (D) ready    (E) misleading

2.  REPUDIATE

(A) forget   (B) duplicate    (C) put up    (D) reject    (E) admit

3.  UNAMINOUS

(A) consequent   (B) thoughtful    (C) universal    (D) of one mind    (E) similar

4.  STAUNCH

(A) smelly  (B) obvious   (C) steadfast   (D) launch  (E) standard

5.  COLLUSION

(A) conspiracy   (B) conclusion   (C) colleague   (D) concern  (E) conduct

6.  ARBITRARY

(A) absolute  (B) correct  (C) precise    (D) exact   (E) unrestricted

7.  EQUILIBRIUM

(A) friendship   (B) balance    (C)  deception   (D)  result   (E) disagreement

8.  SUCCUMB

(A) yield  (B) increase  (C) succeed (D)  delete   (E) introduce

9. CONSTRUE

(A) interpret    (B) instruct   (C) inspire   (D) forget   (E) construct

10.  DEPLETE

(A) interpret  (B) raise (C) find  (D)  decrease  (E) regret

 

Answers

1. B     2. D      3. D      4. C      5. A      6. E      7. B       8. A        9. A       10. D

 

Pre-reading questions

1.  What is peer/group pressure?

2. In what way is group pressure helpful or harmful?

3. Have you had an experience in which you were influced by a group to do or say something you otherwise might not have?

 

Post-reading questions

1.  If you were the subject in the experiment, what would you do?

2.  What have you learned from Asch’s experiment?

 

Supplementaries

Video - The Asch Experiment   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRh5qy09nNw)

 

Video - Asch Conformity Experiment  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYIh4MkcfJA)