SPA TB8 Lecture 1

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Types of power

Reward power - the ability to give/promise rewards for compliance

Coercive power - the ability to give/threaten punishment for non-compliance

Informational/expert power - the belief that the powerful individiual has more information than you do

Legitimate power - the belief that an individual is authorised by a recognised power structure to command and make decisions

Referent power - indentification with, attraction to, or respect for the powerful individual

(Raven, B. H. (1965) Social influence and power. In Steiner, I. D. & Fishbein, M. (Eds.), Current studies in social psychology (pp. 371-382). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.)

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Milgram (1963) Experiment

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioural study of obedience, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-378

Roles: experiementer (confederate), learner (confederate), and teacher (participant)

Participants: 20-50 year old males, not attending university, range of occupations and socioeconomic levels

Teacher read a list of word pairs aloud for the learner to learn; then the teacher gave a cue word to which the learner responded with the other word in the pair. 

Learner strapped into chair with electrodes attached to their arm - at this point the learner mentioned a heart condition. 

Teacher lead into adjoining room and shown the shock generator 15-450V in 15V increments; labelled from 'slight shock' - 'XXX'. Experimenter gave instructions to to administer progressively larger shocks for every mistake. The teacher was given a sample 45V.

If teacher hesitated, then the experimenter had scripted promts (e.g. ‘please continue’; ‘you have no choice you must go on’). The learner's responses had been previously recorded and were exactly the same for each participant.

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Milgram (1963) Results

75V learner grunts in pain; 120V learner shouts to the teacher that the shocks were becoming painful; 150V learner demands to be released; 180V learner cries out that he could stand it no longer and continues to scream to 250V; 300V learner no longer responds.

A panel of 110 experts (including 39 psychiatrists) predicted that only 10% of participants would exceed 180V, and no one would go to the full 450V.

100% participants continued until 300V.

65% continued to the full 450V.

Reasons for obedience: responsibility passed from themselves onto authority figures; immediacy/proximity to victim and authority figure (couldn't see learner and close to experimenter); legitimacy (Yale University); participants were alone; 'foot in the door' theory (obedience starts with small steps).

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Burger (2009) Experiment

Burger, J. M. (2009) Replicating Milgram: Would people still obey today? American Psychologist, 64(1), 1-11.

2-stage screening process to exclude any participants who might react negatively (also whether they had heard of the original Milgram experiement)

Participants told 3x (twice in writing) that they could withdraw at any time and would still recieve their $50.

150V solution: 79% of people who went to 150V went to the full 450V (‘the point of no return’). Stopped study if participant continues to read the word list.

Modelled refusal condition: 2nd confederate teacher who began reading the list of word pairs. They refuse to continue after 75V so participants told to pick up where they left off.

 Participants given 15V sample shock with their consent.

Virtually no time passed between ending the experiment and debreifing, learner entered the room to reassure the participant that he was fine.

Experimenter was a clinical psychologist who could stop the experiment if the participant showed any signs of excessive stress.

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Burger (2009) Results

63% participants continued after 150V in the modelled refusal condition.

70% participants continued after 150V in the control condition.

There was no significant difference between the conditions; and no significant difference from Milgram.

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Reicher & Haslam (2011)

Reicher, S. & Haslam, S. A. (2011) After shock? Towards a social identity explanation of the Milgram 'obedience' studies. British Journal of Psychology, 50, 163-169.

Social indentity bound to soical group you are a part of.

Learner as out-group member and experimenter as in-group member. Which could be becuse participant identifies more with the expeimenter as neither of them are being experimented on (unlike the learner).

To disobey you must break these social bonds. All of Burger's participants who hear the 4th prompt stopped, which could indicate a lack/break of shared identity.

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Zimbardo (1971) Experiment

Zimbardo, P. G., Haney, C., Banks, W. C. & Jaffe, D. (1972) Stanford prison experiment. Stanford, CA: Philip G. Zimbardo Inc. (Tape Recording).

Stanford Prison Experiment - investigating conext of conformity and the effect of power (i.e. having it and not having it).

21 male students: 11 prisoners and 10 guards (Zimbardo was the 11th guard).

Guards told enforce law and order by creating their own rules and how to inforce them (but NOT violence). Both were given uniforms.

Prisoners were arrested, searched, stripped and deloused. They were put in bare cells, and referred to only by number.

Study peripherally involved actual police, parole officers and a priest, who vistied prisoners. And other researchers who came to observe.

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Zimbardo (1971) Results

Day 1: 2:30am 'counts' to familiarize prisoners with their numbers and to allow chance for guards to impose control.

Day 2: rebellion - gurad tactics of confinement, privileges, removal of beds and clothes, physical exercise and toilet cleaning punishments.

Mistrust, upset and hunger strikes among prisoners. 

Guards escalated abuse at night when they thought research team was not watching.

Public objected and experiment was stopped after 6 days (expected 14).

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Zimbardo (1971) Conclusions

Dehumanisation and deindividuation - prisoners learned helplessness

Dispositional behaviour - someone may be predisposed to feeling like a victim so conform to being a prisoner, or predisposed to being aggressive so conform to being a guard and imposing rules.

Situational behaviour - poeple conform to their roles due to the situation/environment; wouldn't do the same in real world.

May be a combination of both dispositional and situational behaviour - situation brought out dispositional behaviours.

People easily slip/coerced into roles and conform to expectations.

Haslam & Reicher (2002) BBC Prison Experiment - failed to replicate Zimbardo's experiment. Investigated group norms by putting people in these roles, but did not show the same conformity to the prisoner/guard.

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Social Identity Theory & Conformity

Group membership and intergroup relations - self-categorization and social comparison of ingroup and outgroup. (E.g. participants identify themselves as a guard and are different from prisoners, therefore guards wouldn't do the same to other guards what they did to prisoners).

Referent informational influence - see how other people in your ingroup are behaving and pressure to conform.

Factors have bases in power - reward, coercive, and referent.

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Ethics

Is it necessary to decieve participants? - Sometimes to measure certain behaviours.

Informed consent - giving them enough information so they can make an informed decision about whether they would like to take part in the experiment.

Full debrief - telling them what was actually measured and why. If they are unhappy with the actual experiment, then their data can be removed at this point, no questions asked.

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Factors influencing obedience - prestige

Milgram replicated study in run down offices - obedience dropped to 48%.

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Factors influencing obedience - proximity

Milgram replicated experiment with experimenter in another room giving instrictions via telephone - obedience dropped to 21%

Milgram replicated experiment with teacher controlling leaner's hand and placing it on shock plate - obedience dropped to 30%

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Factors influencing obedience - social support

Milgram - experimenter may been seen as a figure supporting the teacher's actions

Zimbardo - ingroup behaviour of the guards

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Factors influencing obedience - diffusion of respo

Milgram - experimenter as an ingroup member, therefore must recieve responsibility for the consequences of the teacher's actions

Zimbardo - ingroup of guards; diffusion of responsibility of their actions and consequences between guards 

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Factors influencing obedience - uniform

Milgram replicated experiment where experimenter wore casual clothes (unlike a lab coat as in the 1st experiment) - obedience drops

Zimbardo - prisoners and guards both given uniforms

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Power in romantic relationships

Sprecher, S. & Felmlee, D. (1997) The balance of power in romantic heterosexual couples over time from 'his' and 'her' perspectives. Sex Roles, 37, 361-379

101 heterosexual couples were surveyed 5x over 4 years

Gobal measure - 53% reported an inbalance of power

Decision-making measure - 66% reported an inbalance of power

These were stable over time

Men percieved as more powerful only by males

Being percieved as less emotionally involved correlated with being percieved as more powerful

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