Social Psychology

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Contemporary Study - Burger

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Milgrams 3 variations

-Telephonic instructions

-Physical distance between the experimenter and the teacher. Experimenter left the room to give instructions via telephone. They continued to give lower shocks rather than increasing. If experiementer returned to the lab, obedience was obtained.

22.5% gave full 450v.

-Rundown office block 

-Wanted to investigate how environment effects obedience. Participants were recruited via mailshot and everything else was the same. Enviromnent can influence levels of obedience. 

48% gave full 450v.

-Ordinary man gives orders

-Wanted to investigated the impact of the status of person. Experimenter ordinary man. 1st confederate learner. 2nd is experimenter. Participant the teacher. Experiementer had to take a phone call so tells teqcher to continuegetting the learner to learn word pairs until perfect. Learner tells teacher a good idea is to increase shock level each time he makes a mistake.

20% gave full 450v.

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Classic Study - Sherif Et Al

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Theories of Prejudice - Social Identity Theory

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Theories of Prejudice - Realistic Conflict Theory

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Theories of Obedience - Milgrams research

-Obedience is a form social influence (individual influenced by pressure of another) - compliance to demands.

-Historians were convinced that the Nazis had a charcter flaw however Milgram did not believe this.

-Milgram used participants to investigate wether they would administer electric shocks to an innocent confederate. Milgram concluded we are all capable of complying to the demands of someone in authority, even if it means hurting them. Therefore, we are all capable of extreme obedience which must serve some evolutionary or societal function.

-Human society was Hierarchal- many people at the bottom (working class, poor, normal people) few at the top (presidents, queen, captains). Hierarchy evolved for survival as its a stabilising function. 

-Without obedience it would be chaos as their would be no social organisation. For example, in athreatening situation people will avoid becoming aggressive as it avoidsgetting hurt -  aiding survival. EVOLUTION THEORY suggests avoiding aggressions is a good survival strategy.

-We are initially prepared to being obedient - teachers, parents, goverment - SOCIALISATION - learning the rules and norms of society through these authority figures - teachers and parents 

-When an individual is given an instruction from an authority figure they move from an automonous state (free will) to an agentic state(own consciences not in control) sometimes experiencing moral strain (unpleasant sensation resulting from pressure to obey order to do immoral act)  but still people follow through because of the authority figure.

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Research into Obedience-Agency Theory Milgram 1964

-To invesitgate wether oridnary people will follow orders to give an innocent person an electric shock and what conditions would increse/decrease the level of obedience shown.

-Advert in local newspaper - volunteer sampling - asking for male particpants to participate in a memory and learning study. He offered $4 as an incentive for an hour of their time. At yale univeristy. 

-160 participated - 40 participants under each condition. 2 confederates. Biology teacher (experiementer). Mr wallace (people thought he's a participant). Therefore roles were rigged. Standardised procedure.

-Teacher recieved a 45 volt shock to convince them it was real. 30 switchers increasing in 15v from 15 to 450. Teacher was to administer shocks if an incorrect pair was given and increase by 15v each time.

-4 verbal prods such as 'this experiement requires you to continue' 'you have no other choice to continue, you must go on'

-Thorough debrief given at the end- no shocks given and behaviour explained to them. Asked to do follow up questionnaire.

-65% of participants  continued to the highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts. Participants showed signs of distress, twitching, anxiety and one had a full blown seizure.

-Concluded when the participant could not be seen or heard participants were more likely to follow orders to cause harm.  We have obedience to authority because of the way we are brought up.

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Theories of Obedience - Social Impact Theory


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