Hofling Hospital

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  • Hofling Hospital
    • Aims
      • To establish the level of obedience in a normal everyday setting
    • Procedure
      • 22 night nurses in  psychiatric hospitals in USA
      • Received call from a person posing as a doctor (Confederate)
      • Instructed to administer 20mg of Astroten to patient before he arrived
      • Max dosage 10mg clearly stated on label
      • Doctor said he would sign authorisation paper when he got there
      • Is a rule against taking orders over phone
    • Evaluation
      • Was done in 66 might lack temporal validity as nurses have changed
      • Was a field experiment so it has high ecological validity
      • Was a small sample size so hard to generalise
    • Findings
      • 21 our of 22 obeyed and prepared the medication (the stopped and told it was experiment)
      • Were prepared to administer even though unauthorised drug in ward
      • Accepted instructions from a doctor they never heard of
    • Conclusion
      • Blind obedience to an authority figure can occur in real life


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