Edexcel AS - Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

Milgram (1963)


Aim:

  • To test how far an individual will go in obeying an authority.
  • To also test the idea that German people are different in obedience


Method:

  • 40 Males aged 20-40.
  • Newspaper advertisement, offered $4.50 pay.
  • Yale University, an experiment testing the effect of punishment on learning.
  • The participant was the teacher and the confederate a learner.
  • The teacher tested the voltage at 45v in the electric shock generator.
  • It was a word game based on memory and for every wrong answer the voltage went up by 15v and they were in two separate rooms.
  • A painful pre-recorded scream was played through speaker phone.
  • At 300v the learner became silent which meant they were unconscious or dead.
  • There were verbal prods when the participant objected.
  • The experiment stopped when the participant kept objecting or when they reached 450v
  • The participant was debriefed at the end. 

Results:

  • 65% administered the shocks to 450v
  • 100% administered the shocks to 300v
  • Some participants experienced lip biting, trembling, sweating, fits and nervous laughter as a result of their anxiety in doing the experiment.


Conclusion:

  • It is possible for any individual to go against their moral code and cause harm as a result of obeying an authority figure.


Evaluation:

+ Clear controls, cause and effect and replicable due to standardised procedure

+ Reliable as there were variations that shows similar results

+ No bias, same situation

- Unethical as there was deception, no full right to withdraw, no informed consent caused distress (harm)

- Lacks ecological validity as the setting is artificial


Milgram Variations (1963)


Aim:

  • To investigate the reasons for the high level of obedience in a systematic way


1st Variation - Opposed to the victim being remote from the participant, the participant holds the victims hand to receive the shock - 30% administered the shock to 450v

2nd Variation - To see if the presence of two colleagues who refuse to continue will affect the participants decision to continue - 10% administered the shocks to 450v

3rd Variation - Aimed to see if the participants decision to continue would be affected by one experimenter telling them to continue and the other telling them not to - None administered the shocks to 450v


Meeus and Raaijmaker (1986)


Aim:

  • To investigate destructive obedience in an everyday situation of a job interview


Method:

  • 39 participants both male and female
  • 15 in the control group, 24 in the experimental group
  • Newspaper advertisement, paid $13
  • Conducted in a university
  • The participant was required to harass an applicant (confederate) by saying 15 stress remarks, which were displayed on a TV and when to say them, for every wrong answer.
  • There were 4 verbal prods if the participant wished to withdraw from the experiment
  • The applicants (confederates) responses were scripted and they had to answer 32 multiple choice questions
  • They communicated through speaker phones
  • The tension was measured through electrodes on the skull


Results:

  • 22/24 of the experimental group obeyed and said all 15 remarks
  • 56%

Comments

BUSHRA

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THESE NOTES ARE VERY GOOD AND EXCELLENT TO REVISE FROM AND CAME IN HANDY TO ME.

THANK YOU!

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