RESEARCH INTO OBEDIENCE

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Milgram's study

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RESEARCH INTO OBEDIENCE
1 AO1
1.1 AIM: To investigate whether ordinary people will obey a legitimate authority even when required to injure an ordinary person
1.2 PROCEDURE: The experiment was a laboratory experiment. It involvedved 2 confederates who were the 'learners' and the experimenter, the real participants (pps) were the 'teachers'. The pps were told they must administer increasingly strong electric shocks to the learner every time they got a question wrong.
1.2.1 At 300V, the learner made a noise and if the pp asked to stop, the experimenter gave a series of verbal prods such as 'it is absolutely essential you continue'.
1.2.1.1 300V - learner made a noise
1.2.2 increasingly strong electric shock
1.2.3 Laboratory Experiment
1.3 METHOD: Milgram sourced 40 male participants (pps) through volunteer sampling as he advertised for volunteers to take part in what they thought was a study of how punishment affects learning at Yale Uni. Each pp was paid $4.50.
1.3.1 Volunteer sampling: advertisment
1.4 FINDINGS: Psychologists predicted very few pps would go above 150V. However, 65% of the pps continued to 450V (the maximum)
1.5 CONCLUSIONS: Ordinary people are obedient to authority even when asked to behave in an inhumane way. Therefore, people who are seen as evil due to there severe crimes they commit, may actually be obeying orders.
1.5.1 This means crimes are a result of situational factors rather than genetics. It shows an individuals ability to make independent decisions is reduced when they are below someone in a social hierarchy.
1.5.1.1 Situational factors rather than genetics.
1.5.1.2 independence reduced when below in social hierarchy
1.5.2 Just obeying orders, rather than evil
2 AO2
2.1 I: Milgram deceived his pps as he told them it was a study into how punishment affects people's learning. E: This means that the pps didn't know the true intentions of the study so could give informed consent, and therefore raisng ethical issues. J: However, Milgram claimed that it would be meaningless without an element of deception, and so justifies the experiment somewhat
2.1.1 Ethical issue of deception
2.2 One strength of this experiment is that it was conducted in laboratory conditions and so has high internal validity. This means extraneous variables such as conferring between pps could be controlled and the experiment could therefore measure what it intends to
2.2.1 However, the fact it was a lab experiment means it lacks external validity. This is because the setting didn't mirror that of real life and sow has low ecological validity. Therefore, it can't be known for certain whether people would act in the same way in real life.
2.2.1.1 Low external val
2.2.2 high internal val - lab exp
2.3 Mandel criticised Milgram's study for lacking external validity through looking into reserve battalion 101.In presence of allies, the men of the battalion were aware some of their peers had excluded themselves form the massacre, but most of the men continued until it was finished. This contrasts with Milgram's findings whereby the pps took the opportunity to stop. Therefore demonstrating how Milgram's study lacks external validity as it completely contrasts with findings form real life and so it can be concluded, role of allies doesn't necessarily reduce obedience levels.