Studies in to Obedience

3 main studies in to obedience

HideShow resource information

Milgram (1963)

A: Investigate the levels of obedience when committing tasks people do not enjoy

P: Using 140 American male volunteers aged 20-50, the teacher (pp) was asked to read out pairs of words that the learner had to remember.If the learner got the answer wrong, the teacher was instructed to give them an electric shock, increasing in voltage each time. The answers, shocks or screams were not real. The volts went from 15V to 450V. If the teacher wanted to stop the experimenter have 4 prompts to see if they would continue to obey.

F: All partcipants gave 300V, then 5 pp dropped out. 65% of pp gave max volts, 450V.

Co: Own morals were not enough to diobey the instructions of an autority figure. Even the most ordinary of citizens were willing to blindly obey immoral instructions from an authority figure and therefore contrast to what was predicted (only 1% would do max volts)

Cr: Lack of informed consent. Pyschological harm - nightmares, guilt. Deception - believed they shocked them, learning and memory study. Lack of ecological validity. Experience demand charcteristics. Little releveance to obedience in real life settings. Population validity. Cultures respond differently to obediene - Aussie, less obedient, Spain, much more

1 of 3

Holfing (1966)

A: To see whether nurses would obey orders from an unknown doctor to such an extent their would be a risk or harm

P: A confederate, 'Dr Smith' allegedly from the psychologic department, instructed 22 nurses individually by phone to give his patient 'Mr Jones' 20mg of an unfamiliar drug called 'Astroten'. Dr Smith was in a hurry and and would sign the authorisation form later on. It was actually a sugar pill. The label stated the max daily dose was 10 mg.

F: 21 obeyed without hesitation (95.4%)

Co: The power and authority of doctors was a greater influence on the nurses behaviour than basic hospital rules.

Cr: Suggests that nurses and institutional staff should have special training to follow rules rather than orders from authority figures. Seems relevant to real life settings.

2 of 3

Bickman (1974)

A: Investiagte the power that uniforms have on obedience

P: Carried ou a field experiment in New York asking passers by to pick up litter or lend money to a stranger for a parking meter. Either dressed as a milkman, civilian or security guard.

F: 92% of people tended to obey when experiment was dressed as a security guard. 49% of people obeyed when only in normal clothing.

Co: The power of uniforms or of percieved legitmate authority - people were more likely to obey uniform

Cr: Deception, they were not really in positions of power

3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Obedience resources »