Obediance notes

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  • Created by: Eleanor
  • Created on: 02-06-10 12:50


  • Obedience is a type of social influence where someone acts because of an order or instruction

  • Research into obedience – Milgram, 1963

    • Tested the hypothesis of 'Germans are different'

    • He tested 40 male participants at Yale university using confederates

    • Milgram fixed the situation so then the real participant would be the teacher and the confederate would be the learner

    • The teacher was instructed to punish the learner with a electric shock for each incorrect answer they give. This shock increased by 15V each time up to 450V

    • Milgram found that all participants continued to 300V with 65% going to 450V! This disproved the hypothesis that 'Germans are different'

  • Evaluation

  • Laboratory experiment → No extraneous variables → High internal validity

  • Artificial setting and task → Cannot be generalised to real life → Lacks ecological validity

  • Deception → So has a lack of informed consent → Ethical issues

  • Why do people obey?

    • Dehumanisation – If someone can distance themselves from the harm they are causing then they are more likely to continue to inflict pain

      • The variation of Milgram's experiment where the


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