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With the help of Gardner Murphy, Lois Murphy, Franz Boas, and Ruth Benedict he gained a summer fellowship and investigated how children become members of their culture. He became much more interested in Gestalt psychology after meeting and working closely with his adviser at Columbia, Max Wertheimer, one of the founders of Gestalt psychology. In 1947, he moved to Swarthmore College, where he stayed for 19 years (1947–1966). In 1966, Asch left to found the Institute for Cognitive Studies at Rutgers University (1966–1972).His master's thesis was a statistical analysis of the test scores of 200 children under the supervision of Woodworth. His doctoral dissertation examined whether all learning curves have the same form; H. Swarthmore was the major center for scholars of Gestalt psychology at that time in the United States. In 1972, Asch moved to the University of Pennsylvania.
He demonstrated through his experiments that forming an impression has the following elements: Group A: intelligent-skillful-industrious-warm-determined-practical-cautious Group B: intelligent-skillful-industrious-cold-determined-practical-cautious One group of people were told that the person was warm and another group of people were told the person is "cold".
Participants were asked to write a brief description of the impression they formed after hearing these characteristics.
He created seminal pieces of work in impression formation, prestige suggestion, conformity, and many other topics in social psychology.
His work follows a common theme of Gestalt psychology that the whole is not only greater than the sum of its parts, but the nature of the whole fundamentally alters the parts.
Participants were asked to indicate which of these traits matched with the hypothetical person who had just been described to them.
Asch found that very different impressions were found based on this one characteristic in the list.The experimenters also produced a check list consisting of pairs of opposite traits, such as generous/ungenerous, shrewd/wise, etc.These words were related to the first list of characteristics they heard.As a result of this slight difference, people perceive person A as someone who is an "able person who possesses certain shortcomings which, do not, however, overshadow his merits".But, people perceive person B as a "problem, whose abilities are hampered by his serious difficulties".He specifically was interested in how impressions of other people were established and if there were any principles that regulated these impressions.Asch concluded "to know a person is to have a grasp of a particular structure".He taught there as a professor of psychology until he retired in 1979, and was Emeritus until 1996. Asch was interested in how humans form impressions of other human beings.He was intrigued how we are able to easily form impressions of humans even though we have such complex structures.He grew up in a small town of Łowicz in central Poland. As a result of the language barrier, Asch had a very difficult time understanding in class. Asch later attended Townsend Harris High School, a very selective high school attached to the City College of New York.In 1920 Asch emigrated at the age of 13 with his family to the United States. After high school, he attended the City College of New York, majoring in both literature and science.