You May Be Done with the Group..

July 23, 2013 |  by

..but the group isn’t done with you.

In a 1930s experiment by Muzafer Sharif, subjects in a dark room were asked to judge how much a point of light moved (the light wasn’t actually moving, but only appeared to because of autokinesis). Different groups came up with different estimates of motion—even though the light was stationary.

Subjects were re-tested a week later, individually. Even without the group, subjects still repeated their group’s motion estimates (for the non-moving light).

Individuals were no longer in the group, but the group was in them.

 

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