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PSYA2 – Social Influence. Obedience. “More hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than in the name of rebellion” C P Snow. In groups: think of examples of where social influence has had a dramatic effect on individuals’ behaviour. Obedience in action….

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Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedience“More hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than in the name of rebellion”C P Snow
  • In groups: think of examples of where social influence has had a dramatic effect on individuals’ behaviour
obedience in action
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceObedience in action…

At least 3 million people killed in Nazi concentration camps as a result of Nazi propaganda

The Jonestown massacre: in 1978, over 900 women, men and children died after being ordered to drink cyanide by cult leader Jim Jones

9/11: nearly 3,000 people killed by suicide bombers acting for Al-Qaeda

milgram s 1963 studies obedience to authority
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceMilgram’s (1963) studies:obedience to authority
  • Participants were assigned the role of “teacher” in a “learning experiment” - supposedly at random
  • “Teachers” were asked to administer negative reinforcements in the form of electric shocks to a “learner” (a confederate of experimenter) in an adjacent room.
  • Shock level increased at each mistake with 15 volts, from 15 (marked on the machine as “slight shock”) to 450 volts (marked on the machine as “danger: severe shock”).
  • As the shocks get worse, the learner protests more and more, then refuses to answer.
  • The experimenter orders the learner to continue administering shocks: “you have no other choice, you must continue”.
the experimental setup
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceThe experimental setup

Watch the video clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PassGyF8X8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WLV7mMwGz0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ahc7FYFGno

How violent 1-3

criticisms low internal validity
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceCriticisms: low internal validity

Orne & Holland said participants knew the situation wasn't real but went along with it anyway (demand characteristics)

Milgram said:

“I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident. Within 20 minutes he was reduced to a twitching, shuddering wreck, who was rapidly approaching nervous collapse. He constantly pulled on his ear lobe, and twisted his hands. At one point he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered ‘Oh God, lets stop it’. An yet he continued to respond to every word of the experimenter, and obeyed to the end.”

variations to the procedure affected obedience milgram 1974
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceVariations to the procedure affected obedience: Milgram (1974)
  • Immediacy of the victim:
    • If the victim could only be heard, 65% of teachers went to the limit. If they had visual contact, that number declined. However, even when the teacher had to keep the learner’s hand on a “shock plate” himself, 30% continued to administer shocks up to 450V.
  • Immediacy/ proximity of authority figure:
    • When the experimenter delivered instructions by phone, only 20.5% continued to obey.
  • Legitimacy of authority:
    • When the experiment was conducted in a run down office building obedience dropped to 48%.
  • Social influences:
    • If a second teacher was present who complied, obedience soared to 92% full compliance. If the other refused, only 10% of participants went up to 450V.
the variations showed that different situational factors affected obedience
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedience

The variations showed that different situational factors affected obedience

The research suggest that in certain situations we ignore moral codes and our disposition (Personality) in order to obey Authority.

criticisms low external validity
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceCriticisms: low external validity
  • Maybe Milgram’s findings would only apply to a specific laboratory situation

What other criticisms about validity were there?

criticism unethical
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceCriticism: unethical!
  • Baumrind (1964) attacked Milgram's study for the distress it caused participants.
  • What other ethical issues are raised by this research?
reflecting on milgram s contribution
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceReflecting on Milgram’s contribution
  • Milgram’s experiments are powerful because they were very simple, very real, and very disturbing.
  • This research is very typical for 1970s research in its emphasis on the darker side of human nature:
    • It paints a very bleak picture of what people are like.
    • Social influence is equated with something that is negative + extreme.
    • Individualism is celebrated.
  • Milgram’s experiments also contributed to the end of high impact social psychological research because of the ethical issues they raised.
your task
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceYour task

Working in groups of two or three, you need to make your own handout, or a poster explaining the research by Stanley Milgram (1963).

Include:

  • Aims – what did the researcher want to find out and why?
  • Procedures – what did the researcher do to carry out the study?
  • Findings – what did the researcher find out (give figures if available)?
  • Conclusions – what do the results mean?

You should also include

  • Criticisms – is there anything wrong with the study (for example, does it raise any ethical issues, are there problems with its validity?)?
  • Variations of the research (situations, different gender, culture) and the effect on findings

Guidelines:

  • Work in groups of three
  • Keep it simple
  • Think & plan before putting pen to paper
  • Maximum 2 sides of A4

Pages 163-169 will help!! Plus various worksheets

present your work
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobediencePresent your work!!

Evaluateeach other’s work

Rate it for the following..

Accuracy

All points covered – expt, varaiations, criticisms of ethics and validity

Justify your evaluation

homework
Key terms: social influence,compliance,obedience,conformity, social disobedienceHomework

There are various worksheets you could use to construct an essay relating to Obedience

Choose one of them and complete for homework