Nearly seven decades ago noted psychologist Solomon Asch gave a simple task to 123 experimental subjects: pick which one of three quite different lines was the same length as a “reference” line. Asch had a trick up his sleeve: he surrounded each subject with stooges who would unanimously pick the wrong line. Confused, the experimental subjects were often — not always — swayed by the error of those around them. I’ve written before about these experiments, but there’s something I neglected to mention: not a single one of the stooges nor the experimental subjects was female. If Asch had conducted all-women experiments, he would have found that women tend to conform to the group more often than men. Perhaps this omission doesn’t matter. Retellings of the Asch experiment have tended to exaggerate the conformity that was demonstrated, while glossing over the fact that it was an all-male study. The two biases may cancel each other out. Still, it is a lesson in how easy it is to ignore impo...

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