Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study was designed to investigate the relationship between the cohesiveness of a group and the resultant conformity shown by the members to a group standard. Conformity was measured across three grade levels (4th, 8th, and 11th), with two levels of cohesiveness at each grade (high and low). It was expected that the high cohesive groups would display the most conformity and that the eighth-grade high cohesive groups would conform more than the other grade levels. Subjects were 58 students from a fourth-, eighth-, and eleventh- grade class, with approximately an equal ratio of boys to girls. After a class was divided into four groups, the first task was to enhance the development of high cohesiveness in two groups and low cohesiveness in the other two. Subjects in high cohesive groups played a dart-ball game as a team effort and were free to communicate with each other, whereas in low cohesive groups, the game was played on an individual basis with no communication allowed. After having the subjects rate their level of attraction to their group, conformity was measured by having subjects estimate the number of jelly beans in a jar. The subjects were informed of their group average and then gave a second estimate. Conformity was measured by the degree to which the second estimate shifted toward the group average of the first trial. The fourth-grade rated themselves as being more cohesive than the eighth-grade and the eighth-grade rated themselves as being more cohesive than the eleventh-grade. High cohesive groups in eighth- and eleventh grades displayed more conformity than low cohesive groups, however this did not occur in the fourth-grade. The greatest amount of conformity occurred in eleventh-grade high cohesive groups.


Thomas T. Jackson

Date of Award

Summer 1980

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1980 Steven J. Swihart


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