Generalization of relative competence mediating conformity across differing tasks



Subject correctness and group agreement were initially varied for college subjects performing a multiple-choice informational task (Canadian Knowledge Inventory). On a subsequent perceptual task (Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices), the dependent variable of conformity was assessed to examine generalization of relative competence formed on the informational task. It was seen that: (1) Those who perceived themselves to be less competent than the group on the first task exhibited the greatest level of conformity on the second task, thus replicating previous research on perceived relative competence as a determinant of conformity; (2) suspicion reduced conformity.