MIlgram's Study of Obedience 1963

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A level Psychology Flashcards on MIlgram's Study of Obedience 1963, created by ELLAphant on 10/26/2014.

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Created by ELLAphant about 5 years ago
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Question Answer
Aim To test if Germans were different to other people (In regard to Nazi's in WW2). To see if regular people would obey orders to administer electric shocks to a 'participant'
Setting of expriment -40 males age 20-50 via a newspaper advert, told it was a study on how we learn. exp. rigged so pps always a teacher. -Experimenter in a grey lab coat Mr Wallace, set at Yale University. -pps were told there would be no permanent damage from shocks.
Procedure -pps given a 45 volt real shock to convince them it was real -confederate tied up in room opposite alone -pps with experimenter and control pannel from 15-> 450v and slight shock-> danger buttons -if confederate gave wrong answer/no response the next switch would be used. -confederate stated they were in pain & wanted to stop, then stopped responding. -experimenter used verbal probs.
Results - 65% of pps continued to 450v - 100% continued to 300v - pps showed signs of distress throughout: sweating, trembling, stuttering and laughter. -seemed more at ease after asking experimenter if they would take responsibility.
Conclusions -Social influence is strong. -Most people obey an authoritive figure without question. -Agentic state was reached-blames person in charge. -socialisation-taught to do what we are told from early on. -Proves wrong the 'Germans are different' opinion
Strengths -Showed how easily people obey. -replicable design (controls: scripts) -despite deception, 83.7% were glad to be in the experiment -Effects were short term, pps debriefed fully after and interviewed 1 year later. -Despite lack of withdrawal right being known, 35% ended experiment before 450v
Weaknesses -lacks ecological validity: in a lab setting with authority which could change behaviour. -Lacks experimental validity: people would not be asked to give people electric shocks in normal life. -Deception was used -stressful situation which could result in psychological harm. -withdrawal was discouraged by verbal prods. -Filmed without consent. -Cannot be generalised: only to males aged 20-50 in 1960's America
Evaluation Pps experience conflict from 2 opposing ingrained behaviour traits 1. the tendency to not harm others 2. the tendency to obey those perceived to have legitimate authority Satisfaction of their demands is mutually exclusive, the conflict has no satisfactory solution without a highly visible opposing action.
Variation study: The 2 stooges 1965 -80 pps were used -Same procedure but with 2 confederates who also act as teachers and stop before 300v -only 10% pps continued to the end: felt more able to stop when others stopped -disobedient stooges had a bigger impact than obedient stooges.
Variation study: change of location -set in a block of run down offices -obedience dropped to 47.5% -shows that authoritive settings lead to higher obedience -still lacks validity because not a normal task