Suggestibility: Analysis Of Asch’s Experiment Free Essay

The article that contains Asch’s experiment highlights the fragility of an individual to conform to the opinion of a majority even though it means going against the individual’s own basic perception. In order to demonstrate the power of conformity in groups, Solomon E. Asch conducted series of conformity experiments. In a particular experiment, Asch asked groups of students to participate in a “vision test”. The real scenario is that, all but one of the participants was confederates of the experimenter. Thus the study was really about how the remaining student will react to the confederates’ behavior and answers. Will he going to conform to what the majority says or will he stand on his own belief pattern and sense perceptions?  Solomon E. Asch wanted to affirm the assumptions through this experiment that people often behave differently when they are alone by themselves or in the presence of others. Social influence and conformity is not always a good thing since conformity to social norms can also promote dangerous and risky behaviors.

1-      What is Suggestibility`? How is this phenomenon related to social pressure?

The way the article defines it, suggestibility is initially coined as hypnosis or the extreme form of normal psychological process. People are more likely to be suggestible in a “monotonous reiteration of instructions”, that is conformity becomes automatic.  They can be easily influenced or persuaded even without them experiencing it yet. They automatically accept what other people say or demand without critically thinking first whether it is right or wrong. Their judgment of rightness and wrongness of a particular idea is weak since they totally depend on others’ ideas or opinions. Apparently, young children have a higher level of suggestibility since they act on others’ ideas most of the time than older people.

Some adult people however chose to be suggestible in order to be in tune with others’ attitudes. For example, one easily follows the demands of another in order to please and in order to satisfy his or her expectations. Thus suggestibility may also be the result of wanting to fulfill social expectations for the sake of acquiring sense of belongingness.

      2-   Summarize the procedure and results of the Asch experiment. What conclusion does the writer draw from these results?

            In a psychology experiment, there is only one real subject. This particular student was unaware that other students in the classroom are actually associates of the experimenter, and thus their behavior has been carefully scripted. Moreover, what he knows was that the experiment concerns people’s visuals judgment. The experimenter places two cards before the class. The card on the left contains only one vertical line while the card on the right contains three vertical lines of different lengths. The experimenter asked the class, one at a time, to choose which of the three lines on the right card matches the length of the line on the left card. Most of the participants gave the wrong answers even though the correct answer is obvious. The main subject to the experimenter’s surprise conformed on 4 of the 12 trials even though the correct answer is very evident.  “The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black. This is a matter of concern. It raises questions about our ways of education and about the values that guide our conduct.” Upon him the experiment has brought him a difficulty; will he conform to the evidence of his senses or will he follow with the opinions of the majority? The more he finds himself in the minority or in isolation, the more he also finds himself in confusion.

3-To what extent did varying the size of the majority and its unanimity affect the experimental results?

            “The instructed majority occasionally reports correctly in order to reduce the possibility that the naïve will suspect collusion against him”. In varying the size of the majority, the experiment is giving the subject the impression that the experiment is indeed credible to believe that it is about people’s visual judgment. Moreover, the experimenter arranged the real subject to be the next to the last person to announce his answer so that he would hear most of the confederates’ incorrect responses before giving his own. Apparently, people conform maybe because they don’t trust their own judgment enough, they want to be liked by the group and maybe because they believe the group is better informed than they are. In the unanimity, it was been discovered that when a person was confronted with a single individual who contradicted his answers, he swayed a little but still continue to answer independently and correctly in all the trials. But as the number of the oppositions was increasing, the level of pressure is also increasing.  Apparently when he finds himself in the minority and when he finds himself isolated to the answers of the others, he will also likely to conform.

4- What distinction does Asch draw between consensus and conformity?

Consensus for the writer involves collaboration, that is a mutual agreement among the members of a given group or community. Consensus is therefore a collective thought from the independent minds of the members of the society. “Each individual should contribute independently out of his own experience and insight”. From those independent insights and ideas, members of the given community will make a general agreement in terms of decision making for the welfare and well being of the members of the society. Thus consensus by Asch has been put on the affirmative and positive light.

However, conformity pollutes the individual’s sense of independence in terms of thinking and feeling. As rational beings who have been given free will, the power of thinking and feeling must be exercised. Most of the time it is not healthy that people’s behaviors are influenced by other people since not other people’s behavior is always right and correct. One must exercise his or her own identity, judgment and standards even if it may threaten one’s sense of security within a group.

 Work Cited:

Asch, Solomon E. Opinions and Social Pressure. Retrieved on 23, March 2009 from


Ecotourism And Its Impact On United Arab Emirates

            The modern world has seen the emergence of tourism as a leisure activity people do not just on a holiday; it has become a growing and promising industry. While others associate it with the destruction of the environment, its apparent contribution to the various sectors of a country could not be discounted. Tourism is more notable for its many benefits to a variety of industries connected with transport or communication, hotel or accommodation, entertainment, food, and other businesses.

            However, the environmentalists’ apprehensions about the nature’s destruction may have some basis because the effects of tourism on the environment are significantly rising. Taken for granted in the past, the reported destructions now cause an alarming concern. This is because a lot of areas or tourist destinations worldwide are already ruined, leading to the devastation of the only attraction which entices tourists to visit an area. Hence, what the world needs now is tourists’ responsible visit to various attractions. Through this, the visitors would be able to enjoy themselves. At the same time, they would be able to maintain the world’s beauty and wonder while keeping the place relaxing to live in.

Worldwide Tourism: An Overview

            According to the 2006 Fact Sheet on Global Ecotourism prepared by The International Ecotourism Society or TIES, there is now a significant growth of global tourism. The Travel and Tourism sector, being the biggest industry sector worldwide, is attributed to the generation of more than 230 million employments and the more than 10 percent of the gross domestic product or GDP in the whole world (TIES, 2006). This, in effect, results in an increase in international arrivals, ushers developing nations to higher degrees of prosperity, and makes other countries leave their status of being a least-developed nation (World Tourism Organization, 2000).

The same TIES report, however, also stated some negative effects of ecotourism such as the reported destruction of coral reefs, accumulation of more wastes, and irrigation problem because golf courses drench a lot of gallons of water (TIES, 2006). Despite this, TIES nonetheless acknowledges positive aspects of ecotourism with regards to its demand from tourists who now have an increased awareness and dedication to responsible tourism and ultimately, nature’s preservation and advancement of welfare of the local residents (TIES, 2006).

The Booming Ecotourism Industry

            Of the many forms of tourism, there is now a considerable rise of the ecotourism industry. This is because of the appeal to preserve the environment and uplift the welfare of residents who are living in the tourist area while at the same time enjoying what the nature can offer. TIES has defined the comparatively fresh idea of ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” (TIES, 2006, 3). It likewise pertains to the effects of tourism on both natural and human environment wherein the conservation of the natural assets of the area by the local residents is encouraged (TIES, 2006).

            For TIES’ definition to be realized, there is a need for the local communities to take actions that will boost, oversee, and restrain tourism within their area in order to sustain tourism into the future. According to TIES, since ecotourism concerns “conservation, communities, and sustainable travel,” there are some principles to be followed (TIES, 2006, title page). These principles include lessening the effects of tourism; creating environmental and ethnical consciousness and esteem; giving affirmative happenings for both tourists and local residents as the hosts; providing authorization for the hosts and finally; and giving absolute monetary or financial payments for both preservation activities of the area, as well as the local residents (TIES, 2006).

            In relation to TIES report on ecotourism, Wearing and Neil (1999) stated that the development of ecotourism preservation is an offshoot of worldwide concern which was integrally connected with sustainability. According to Wearing and Neil (1999), the industry can create an environmental and social consciousness and esteem while at the same time offer positive happenings for both tourists and the host residents. The industry also aims to provide financial benefits for the residents of the tourist area (Wearing & Neil, 1999).

            Moreover, there is also a need to increase monetary support that will fund the preservation of the tourist destination. Ecotourism assists a person and an organization to concentrate on understanding the various cultures of the tourists’ destinations, appreciating the variety of dangerous undertakings, and preserving nature (Wearing & Neil, 1999). It also aids them to discover the positive implications of volunteerism, individual development, and the responsible ways of living in this planet (Wearing & Neil, 1999).

            At present, ecotourism now acquires an increased popularity because of a shift from the traditional holiday activity to an upscale tourism level (Stensgaard, 2007). Ecotourism has paved the way for the transfer from “highly packaged, standardized, traditional city or beach-based mass tourism destinations to more personalized, life-enhancing travel in attractive natural environments” (Stensgaard, 2007, n.p.). It is actually in this kind of tourism that holiday vacation infers not to merry-making but responsible visit to natural tourist destinations which needs the preservation of the environment and maintenance of the residents’ well-being within the area. It is also where deliberate effort is created in order to re-invest enough balance of income and conservation of the resources that the tourist destination offers. In addition, it should guarantee that the benefits brought about by the tourism in the area are felt or shared to local residents (Stensgaard, 2007).

Ecotourism in the United Arab Emirates

            United Arab Emirates saw the development of ecotourism in the area basically because of its advantageous location. UAE serves as a conjunctive connection between Europe and the subcontinents of India as well as the Far East and the continent of Africa. Tourism then performs the function of being a mediator between UAE’s wide array of cultures. The conventional hospitality of Arab nationals and the pleasing winter mood, balanced by high-rise and advanced buildings as well as the fact that the area is basically free of crime, led to the creation of a perfect environment for Ecotourism’s improvement. In addition, UAE is an ideal tourist destination because of its closeness to nature and adherence to conservation of the environment which allows for the realization of the primary purpose of ecotourism (UAE Government, n.d.).

            Ecotourism in UAE has resulted into a tremendous growth in infrastructure and massive structural evolution that is specifically kicking off at its coastline. However, it was noted that this development has badly affected the water and shore resources. This is because the excavation and filling activities which are required by the ecotourism industry have compromised and ruined precious ecosystems like the coral reefs. In fact, Stensgaard (2007) has reported that:

            As more and more resorts come up, additional pressures will be exerted on critical            water resources, soil and atmosphere; while the generation of even larger quantities of    waste will have to be dealt with, and landscapes will alter drastically as buildings          replace unspoiled beaches (n.p.).

            In view of this, it has been emphasized in UAE that ecologically insusceptible and neglectful operations will not be acceptable and feasible in a tourist destination where nature-conscious visitors are given importance. This has also resulted into some concerned sectors introducing ecotourism as a way to preserve ecosystems while at the same time creating consciousness of and reinforcement for nature conservation along tourists and local residents. Stockpiles of ecosystems at delicate tourist areas, with schemes for tourists to be involved in the appreciation and conservation of the environment, are now being undertaken. This is done because a nature-responsible tourism is a more sustainable and suitable growth concept (Stensgaard, 2007).

            While ecotourism in UAE has resulted in evident and alarming environmental concerns, its positive impact on the nation’s economy should not be taken for granted.  For instance, eco-friendly resorts have become very popular in the last decade. These resorts conserve the local environment. Yet, they still manage to bring profit to the local economy. Hence, the industry has opted for eco-friendly hotels and related establishments which can assist in working out the troubles that a lot of tourist areas are encountering when addressing and responding to the sustainable tourism growth.

            Gould (2000) mentioned that UAE has widened its scope with the opening of the initial ecotourism plan involving the 3,300 acre place that enables undomesticated animals to move around their natural environment. Likewise, the plan lets tourists to admire the serenity of the property. In effect, the resort area has led not only to the promotion of the ecotourism concept, but also to the creation of employments for the local residents (Gould, 2000).

Ward (2004) added that other UAE ecotourism resorts are into other forms of resource conservation, such as utilization of solar energy, and ecotourism programs, like hiring of local workers as well as provision of environment-friendly equipments for the residents of the community. Additionally, tourists’ direct confrontation with nature is being promoted as part of the country’s Ecotourism commitment (Ward, 2004).


            Ecotourism as a rising form of tourism is indeed aimed for the preservation of the environment and maintenance of the benefits enjoyed both by tourists and local residents. However, the demand for appreciation of nature definitely requires responsibility among all concerned people. In doing so, not only is the environment being protected, but also the future of the tourism industry. The tremendous development of foreign and local tourism has made the industry choose practical and nature-friendly programs that will assure the protection of the earth’s resources as well as sustain the future of the residents living in the area.


Gould, L.E. (2000). Desert Adventures. Travel Agent, 299, 4, 108.

Stensgaard, A.B. (2007, May 26). Finding a place for Ecotourism in the UAE.  AME Info.

Retrieved June 3, 2008 from AME Info database:

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). (2006, September). Fact Sheet: Global

Ecotourism. Retrieved June 3, 2008, from

UAE Government. (n.d.). Tourism. Retrieved June 3, 2008, from   

Ward, D. (2004, April 26). Welcome to the Jungle. Travel Trade Gazette.

Wearing, S. and Neil, J. (1999). Ecotourism: impacts, potentials, and possibilities. Boston:          Butterworth-Heinemann.

World Tourism Organization. (2000, July). Long-term Prospects: Tourism 2020 Vision.    Retrieved June 3, 2008, from


Choosing Knowledgeably And Choosing By Default

            People make many choices and decisions in their everyday lives. For instance, people decide on what to eat for breakfast, where to go in the afternoon, what to buy for dinner, who to go out with in the evening, etc. Basically, the story of our lives is based on the choices and decisions that we make which drives the path that our lives would take. The question is, how do we make our choices? On which grounds do we base our decisions? At this point, we discuss the concepts of choosing based on knowledge and choosing by default. From the discussion of one of these ideas, we can clearly base our analysis of the other.

            Choosing by default means that decisions be made unconsciously without thorough evaluation or analysis of the results or outcomes and other options that might be available to take. Choosing or making decisions by default happens because of several reasons. First, people tend to choose something unwisely without exploring all the alternatives and options before making a decision. The decision was based merely on the current situation wherein a given choice seems to be the most plausible thing to do during that moment, without even determining or waiting for other options that are more desirable.

Another basis on which people base their decisions by default is the reason that a particular choice or decision is the easiest thing to do. Choices are simply made because it is more convenient and effortless, as compared to other options and alternatives. At this point, the result or an outcome of a choice that was made just because of superficial reasons is based on chance. Whether or not a certain choice or decision made will results to desirable outcomes or consequences, is based on chance or providence.

Moreover, there are some external factors, which influence decisions made by default. In some instances, decisions are not based on careful considerations nor personal choices, but on the choices that other people make. Sometimes choices made by default are based on what society dictates one should do or become. Examples include peer pressure, social trends and developments, marketing and advertising, etc. In this case, the choice made by default is motivated by outside forces and not influenced by personal inclinations to make choices impulsively.

On the other hand, people make rational and carefully evaluated choices. In this situation, people choose to make decisions knowledgeably. Choosing knowledgeably greatly differs from the concept of making decisions by default. These two concepts are complete opposites. Choosing knowledgeably is achieved when a person do not simply make a choice straightforwardly without looking at the bigger picture or the larger aspect of what the decision making entails and what it would result to in the future. Choosing knowledgeably means exploring other options and alternatives in order to judge and assess which would generate the best results out of all the options or alternatives evaluated.

Choosing knowledgeably follows a system or a process of making decisions that is based on the standards of a rational and knowledgeable choice. According to Nena and George O’Neil, making choices knowledgeably follows a cycle.  The significance of making the choice is the purpose of choosing knowledgeably. In making choices, the entire predicament is considered. Moreover, all the options and alternatives are laid out in order to identify which choice would yield the best results. The impact or effect of the decisions to oneself and to other people is also studied. Considerations involving the correctness or soundness of a choice are also involved in making decisions. Moreover, the social environment must be considered, such as what society dictates, what religious institutions promote, cultural traditions and beliefs, and personal insights on the matter. Once the person is willing to accept changes by making a decision, the decision is carried out through actions and behavior.

            People make default choices all the time, in different aspects of their lives, whether decisions entail making critical considerations or not. The influences of both decision-making options such as choosing by default and choosing knowledgeably shall be explored and analyzed by applying them to several real life situations. For instance, people choose by default in the aspect of the marriage gradient. The marriage gradient plays on two fields, such that it incorporates both making choices knowledgeably and by default. The marriage gradient phenomenon is said to influence a woman’s decision with regards to marriage. Basically, the marriage gradient dictates the pattern on which women should base their decisions in marriage. The phenomenon explicates women’s predisposition to marry depending on the age, level of education, job, etc. of the opposite sex.

            As aforementioned, the marriage gradient plays on two fields. Default choices made within the marriage gradient is due to the standards that society dictates. It is based on the “should be’s” that society requires men to have in order for women to marry them. This, I think, is choosing by default. This is because decisions are based on a given standard to follow, and women merely follow it, instead of thinking about the implications of these standards to marriage, or exploring other meaningful reasons of going into marriage. What women and society do not realize is that there is more to marriage than the age, educational level, total amount of salary, etc. that a man earns. There are other factors such as compatibility, emotional connection and attachment, and other non-tangible aspects that are involved in a marriage. If women base their decisions merely on the standards of the marriage gradient, then they are making choices by default.

            However, the marriage gradient also supports making knowledgeable choices and decisions. Setting a standard also raises the standards of women in making decisions. It serves as a reminder for women to thoroughly think about the decision of marrying someone. Although following the said standard set by the marriage gradient is considered a default choice, it can be shifted to become a decision grounded on knowledge and rationality. This is accomplished through the capacity of the marriage gradient to encourage women to make decisions that are wise and desirable. For instance, choosing men who are well educated, thus, having a promising future ahead of them or men who are well educated whom women can converse sensibly with. The standard set by the marriage gradient, if interpreted with depth, may be used for making decisions rationally. Therefore, the decision of making choices either knowledgeably or by default lies solely on the person.

            The roles that men and women play in society may be taken as either a knowledgeable or a default choice. Traditionally, men are labeled to be the dominant gender in society. People perceive men to be well educated, strong-willed who take on the responsibility of taking care of the financial needs of the family, engaged in politics and other serious matters in society, etc. On the other hand, women are seen to be the submissive type, who stay at home and take care of household chores and their children. Women are not highly educated, but domesticated. Moreover, women do not hold high positions in the social strata. These views originated from the past and until now influences the structure of society.

            This view of gender roles affects the way men and women make their decisions. For instance, once a couple gets married and have children, some men would tell their wives to stay at home and care for their children. In some marriages, the role that they play becomes automatic because the system of “husband works, wife works at home” has long been a belief common in history, which was carried on to be part of the societal structure. This becomes a decision by default. However, the decision to practice the traditional roles of men and women become a knowledgeable decision, when one is able to weigh the importance of adhering to it.

            For instance, when both parents decide that having the wife stay at home and care for their children and their needs, while the other works in order to support the needs of their children, then this becomes a knowledgeable decision. This is because the decision was based on careful evaluation and analysis of the situation by assessing the primary needs of the children. Since the welfare of the children is at stake, parents decide to do whatever it takes in order to provide for the needs of their children. At this point, being a wife who stays at home and a husband who works all day, will not be considered as a choice done by default, but a knowledgeable choice done with thorough analysis and rationality.

            Even in communication, there lies a difference between choosing by default and choosing intelligibly. Although communication is a very broad topic, I have chosen to apply the concepts of the two types of decision-making processes to communicating problems within the family. The choices made by default or knowledgeable decisions are based on how communication is initiated and what the information communicated is all about. A problem that arises within the family becomes part of making decisions because it concerns all its members. The choice of communicating by default is observable on how parents to choose to talk about the problem immediately because that is how it is supposed to be. Moreover, it is already given that the parents and the children should talk about problems within the family because it concerns them.

            Making choices knowledgeably in this situation manifests when providing solution to the problem becomes the motivation or the intention of initiating a family conference, for instance. This is because, the rational side of it is that the problem must be addressed in order to eliminate the disadvantages or detrimental effects of letting the problem mount up. This becomes a knowledgeable choice.

            Although the two concepts, choosing knowledgeably and by default, vary in meaning and purpose, both types of making choices may be applied in all decision-making situations. It all depends on how one chooses either to resolve a predicament by making choices by default without thinking about the underlying issues that surround a problem, or to make choices intelligibly by thinking and critically analyzing everything that goes with a particular problem.


Lamanna, M. A. & Riedman, A. (2006). Marriages and Families: Making Choices in a Diverse

            Society 9th Ed. Massachusetts: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2005.

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