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The Asch conformity experiments were a series of studies published in the 1950s that demonstrated the power of conformity in groups. These are also known as the "Asch Paradigm".
The Asch Experiment - YouTube
Variations of the basic paradigm tested how many cohorts were necessary to induce conformity, examining the influence of just one cohort and as many as fifteen. Results indicate that one cohort has virtually no influence and two cohorts have only a small influence. When three or more cohorts are present, the tendency to conform increases only modestly. The maximum effect occurs with four cohorts. Adding additional cohorts does not produce a stronger effect
Asch conformity experiments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_confo ... xperiments
"As 1984 begins, various totalitarian governments control and censor the media and squelch dissenting individuals. Perhaps more ominously and subtly here and elsewhere in the world, there are mini-versions of Orwell’s Big Brother, Newspeak and Thought Police. Since the early 1970′s there has been a burgeoning not of governments, but of independent entrepreneurial groups going into the mind manipulation and personality-change business. Myriads of faddist, cultists, quacks and “new age” and “new-movement” groups have emerged using Orwellian mind manipulation techniques. The groups recruit the naive, the unaffiliated, the trusting and the altruistic. They promise intellectual, spiritual and self-actualization utopias whereas the pied pipers of the past promised primarily social and political new worlds. The New Age pied pipers offer pathways to development, enlightenment and egalitarianism. Many later subject their followers to mind-numbing treatments that block thinking and subjugate free will in a context of a strictly enforced hierarchy.
Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer