Factors Affecting Obedience

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  • Factors Affecting Obedience
    • Gender Factors
      • Hofling 1966
        • USA study on female nurses who received phone calls from new doctor on shift (Dr Smith
          • Asked if she could administer 10mg of Astrogen so could take affect before his round
            • Clearly stated 10mg = max dose
        • 95% of nurses about to before being stopped & questioned by researcher
    • Cultural Factors
      • Miranda et al 1981
        • 90% of students in Spain likely to bey in the repeat of Milgram's study - only 50% of male participants obeyed in UK
      • Individualistic cultures
        • E.g. American & British
        • More concerned with individual success, stress needs of individuals rather than whole group - seen as independent & autonomous people
      • Collectivist cultures
        • E.g. China & Japan
        • Group decision making is highly valued - emphasise group needs- relationships & interconnectedness between members play role in each persons identity
      • Smith & Bond 1998
        • People who belong to individualistic cultures more likely to behave independently than those from collectivist cultures
      • Tajfel 1970
        • Wanted to find out if prejudice could still occur in absence of competition or history
        • 64 boys, aged 14/15 years from Bristol
          • Groups of 8 all in same form
        • Shown dots & had to estimate number of dots - told were in groups based on accuracy of prediction (even though chose randomly)
          • Told they had to allocate money using matrix to other group - found they would allocate significantly more money to own group
    • Situational Factors
      • French & Raven 1959
        • Type of power held by an individual, determines amount of obedience shown in particular situation - 5 forms of power
          • Legitimate
            • Held by those in certain roles, usually authority
          • Reward
            • Held by those with certain resources
          • Coercive
            • Held by those who can punish another
          • Expert
            • Held by those with knowledge
          • Referent
            • Held by those who are able to win people over with their charm & rhetoric
      • Sidanius & Pratto 1999
        • Suggested a person is said to have high social dominance when s/he wants their own group to prevail - reject views of others
          • Reasons the authority figure gives to justify people obeying an order - research shows that if you watch peer disobeying the order, then levels of obedience will be low
          • Past experiences affect obedience
            • Gretchen Brandt
              • Refused to go past 210v as she'd lived through Nazi Germany & has seen too much pain, she didn't want to live another horrifying experience
    • Personality Factors
      • Authoritarian personality
        • Show obedience to authority
      • Adorno et al
        • Authoritarian personality characterised by excessive & blind obedience to authority & lack of tolerance to those who don't have the same respect to authority figure
      • Hyman & Sheatsley 1954
        • Authoritarian personality more likely to exist among those who're less educated & have lower socio-economic status
          • Links to developmental approach as suggest authoritarian personality results from early socialisation
      • Blass 1991
        • Found links between internal locus of control (blame themselves) & resistance to obedience in Milgrams studies - people who refused to administer electric shocks displayed strong tendencies of self-blame
        • Conducted meta-analysis of 9 different studies using Milgrams procedures on male & female participants - found only 1 study in Australia produced a significant difference between male & females levels of obedience


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