Reicher and Haslam

Rachel Byrne
Mind Map by Rachel Byrne, updated more than 1 year ago
Rachel Byrne
Created by Rachel Byrne over 5 years ago


Mind Map on Reicher and Haslam, created by Rachel Byrne on 10/12/2014.

Resource summary

Reicher and Haslam
1 Aim/Background
1.1 Background: This study investigates the social psychology of tyranny. Zimbardo (1973)- carried out an infamous experiment in the basement of Standford university. It had to be stopped early due to guard brutality and prisoner distress.
1.2 Aims: 1. To provide evidence of the unfolding interactions between groups of unequal power. 2. To investigate if dominant group members will identify with their group from the start and impose their power. 3. To investigate if subordinate group members will identify collectively and challenge intergroup inequalities when relations between groups are seen as impermeable and insecure. 4. To measure the social, organisational and clinical effects of the study on the participants. 5. To develop a practical and ethical framework for examining social psychological issues in large-scale studies.
2 Participants
2.1 from 332 applicants, 27 men were selected by a three-phase screening process. A final 15 were chosen (to ensure diversity of age, social class and ethnic background
2.1.1 Authors claimed that the final 15 were randomly divided into 2 groups of 5 gaurds and 10 prisoners - However this was done after they had been put into matched groups of 3. (did this to make sure personality types were spread across the guards and prisoners.
2.1.2 1. battery of psychometric tests that measured both social variables (authoritarianism, modern racism) and clinical variables (depression, anxiety, self harm, ethnic background e.t.c
2.1.3 2. participants underwent a full weekend assessment by independent clinical psychologists
2.1.4 3. Medical and character references were obtained and police checks were conducted
2.1.5 sample obtained through national press leaflets, no females were involved and so the sample was not representative of everyone, people gave consent, diverse sample.
2.2 role of being a guard: they were informed they have the role of guards, they were shown a prison timetable, told they were responsible for the prison running smoothly they had to draw up prison rules. They were given well made uniforms.
2.3 role of being prisoners: heads shaven, given uniform (t-shirt with 3-digit number, lose trousers and flimsy sandals) they were given no info on prison rules only told violence was not permitted.
3 Method
3.1 IV's: Permeability of roles (opportunity for promotion) - Legitimacy of roles (prisoners told there were no real differences between them and guards) - Cognitive alternatives (new trade union prisoner introduced)
3.2 DV's: Behavioural observation - Daily psychological measures (psychometric tests) - Physiological tests (urine and saliva)
3.3 daily psychometric testing and swabs of saliva to test cortisol levels which can indicate persons stress levels.
3.4 guards had better living quarters, uniforms, superior food, snacks and extra drinks.
3.5 prisoners could get snacks or cigarettes as rewards. They has their heads shaved and a t-shirt, trousers and sandals. They were only given rules
3.6 lasted 8 days (reached its 'natural point of termination)
4 findings
4.1 social identification- prisoners were more identified than the guards. This was predicted.
4.2 depression- Guards depression went up and up the more they lost control
4.3 (permeability)how did the announcement of permeability affect the prisoners: made them better behaved and they tried to impress the guards.
4.3.1 (permeability) How did the prisoners act after the promotion: prisoners acted more collectively against guards, there was no goal they were working towards so they tried to annoy the guards.
4.4 (legitimacy) intervention was not necessary: because of the way the groups emerged naturally, created a sense of illegitimacy. (prisoners acted collectively, guards failed to act as a group)
4.5 (cognitive alternatives) McCabe was introduced to bring cognitive alternatives, but since these were already apparent McCabe might not have been needed.
4.5.1 McCabe helped offer further alternatives to the status quo (especially regarding the guard/prisoner relationship)
4.5.2 Quantitative measures show how cognitive alternatives to the status quo became more apparent to participants throughout the study.
5 conclusion
5.1 E.V: high- unequal power represented like in actual prisons (prisoners locked up and guards have better living conditions)
5.2 E.V: low- wasn't a real prison, or real prisoners and it only lasted 2 weeks and they could leave whenever they wanted.
5.3 conclusions: 1. It is possible to carry out large scale research 2. people dont automatically abuse power that they are given, it depends on how they fit-in with a group.
5.4 reliability- high as they used data from saliva swabs to confirm the psychometric results
5.5 Validity- on T.V so hight demand characteristics, not a real prison either so their is a low validity
5.6 Unlike Zimbardo- they found that people dont automatically assume roles given to them
6 An experimental case study, of the behaviour of members in dominant or subordinate positions and of the developing relations between them.
7 data collection
7.1 observational data
7.1.1 the prison set-up was designed so that all participant could be both audio and video recorded (at all times). All audio channels and 4 video channels were recorded at any one time throughout the study.
7.2 self report data
7.2.1 participant completed a daily set of psychometric tests to prevent test fatigue, not every test was given every day
7.3 biochemical measures
7.3.1 a daily saliva swab was taken, from which measures of cortisol were taken, as an indication of stress levels

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