KEY STUDY:Hofling et al 1966

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  • HOFLING ET AL 1966
    • AO2
      • AIM
        • To investigate how far nurses will obey prders given by a doctor even if it goes against their training
        • a control group of 22 American nurses from different wards were asked whether or not they would obey doctors over the phone asking to administer a wrong dosage of a drug
          • A researcher posed as a doctor 'Dr Smith', rang 22 nurses on different ward asking them to give a dosage of 20 mg of Astroten, a made up drug placed in a drug cupboard, which was really just sugar and water (harmless glucose)
            • Nurses are trained not to accept orders over the phone as they have to be administered by a doctor and the relevant paperwork must be signed before the drug is administered
              • the box of Astroten was clearly labelled with the safe daily dose as being 10mg, so if they administered the drug they would have broken 2 big rules of their training.
      • FINDINGS
        • Although 21 out of 22 of the control group said they would not obey orders in this way, 21 out of 22 in the experimental group did so. 50% when asked afterward had noticed the daily dose on the box, the others had no idea
        • People will follow orders even if it goes against their training, not only their morals, however, they don't always realise they are doing something wrong.
    • AO2
      • G-Only used 22 American nurses in both studies so not representative of the target population, therefore not generalisable
      • R-can be easily replicated and  similar results were found in Milgram's 1963 study and Meeus and Raaijmakers 1986 study
      • A- has applications in understanding obedience and real events such as the Holocaust
      • V-very high ecological and experimental validity as they were doing their everyday job and had no idea they were in a study, therefore acted naturally
      • E-no informed consent, didn't even know they were in a study. Could have cause them stress to think they may have harmed the patient, although they were stopped if they administered the drug. They were deceived into thinking they were going to put a patient's life in jeopardy. they were debriefed at the end of the experiment


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