He varied the 'central trait' however, in the same manner as Asch did in his experiment, that is, by swapping a single trait within the set with another trait - 'cold' became 'warm'.
Asch's experiment was also further validated by a more 'naturalistic' replication by Kelley (1950), who introduced a guest lecturer to students, describing the newcomer by listing a series of traits.
Although this seems to support Asch's Central Trait theory, it works to the detriment of a Gestalt based, rationally coherent impression as it 'glorifies' one trait rather than a combined set. Therefore, considering both approaches in this experiment, it is expected that a change in one trait dimension within a set of traits leads to a difference in the final impressions formed.Subjects 9 subjects with a mean age of 19, consisting of 6 females and 3 males, consented to be a part of this experiment after being requested to do so.
The final inferences made about the 'polite' individual were not radically different from those formed concerning the 'blunt' person, leading Asch to the hypothesis that particular words within a given context did not affect the final impression to any great degree. Another theory is the presence of the 'halo effect', best demonstrated in studies by Dion, Berscheid and Walster (1972).
(Asch) Trials in the experiment consisted of neutral trials, where the majority responded correctly to gain the trust of the critical subject and critical trials, where the majority responded incorrectly.
Although Asch conducted many variations on his test of conformity, and he has been criticized as being too simplistic to accurately represent true conformist behaviour his experiment has stood the test of time and examination
Anderson, M, L, Taylor, H, F.
Significant evidence was provided for this hypothesis, in much the same manner as an experiment carried out by Asch (1946) to support a Central Trait Theory for his Gestalt-based model of impression formation.
“But when we implemented (the experiment), it was interesting to see that people would actually do this.” As they found, however, some are more likely to conform than others. Age, for instance, predicts conformity. The youngest conform most often (more than 40 percent of the time) while the oldest are least likely to conform (between 14 and 24 percent depending on if they are a middle-aged adult or lateaged adult, respectively). Men are more likely to conform fully while women demonstrated higher levels of partial conformity.
That is, they both exist as recognisable phenomena within the complete process of impression formation. The findings of Asch and Kelley are supported in that particularly strong impressions have been formed of Person X, dependant upon a variance of the 'central trait', demonstrated by the fact that similar responses were given by each individual in their respective grouping.
This is evident during the 19th century where Solomon Asch and Muzafer Sherif investigated the phenomenon of conformity and its effects on human behaviour.