Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Confidence and Social Influence in a Memory Task

Publication Date

Fall 11-30-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Adam Smiley

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


The urge to be a member of a group, to fit in, and social influence affects individuals in a multitude of areas throughout one's life. These effects span from daily interactions within group settings to societal pressures to fit in. Past studies have shown that individuals use group norms as a guide on what they should think and how to behave. To examine the link between confidence and social conformity, researchers have been studying whether strength of confidence in a group determines degree of conformity. Many studies attest to this hypothesis. This study utilizes 46 participants selected from Belmont University’s students enrolled in Scientific Psychology, General Psychology or Introductory Psychology courses. Students would participate in this study under the impression that the study subject was understanding the effects of level of intelligence on a memory recall task. In reality, participants were broken up into two groups, one of high confidence and low confidence, where their confidence was manipulated through two different math tests. After the short math quiz, participants were asked to partake in a memory recall task, during which confederates attempted to push them to respond with incorrect answers about the images participants were shown during the task. We hypothesized that when participants are made to feel less confident after receiving false feedback, they will be more likely to give incorrect answers to conform with others. Likewise when participants are made to feel more confident, they will be less likely to conform to others. The data collection testing these hypotheses, and results will be presented at SURS.

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