Obedience - situational variables

  • Created by: AK
  • Created on: 28-11-17 14:12
Situational variables
In his research Milgram identified several factors that he believed influenced the level of obedience shown by participants. They are all related to the external circumstances rather than to the personalities of the people involved
1 of 12
Proximity
The physical closeness or distance of an authority figure to the person they are giving an order to. Also refers to the physical closeness of the teacher to the victim (leaner) in Milgram's studies
2 of 12
Location
The place where an order is issued. The relevant factor that influences obedience is the status or prestige associated with the location
3 of 12
Uniform
People in positions of authority often have a specific outfit that is symbolic of their authority, for example police officers and judges. This indicates to the rest of us who is entitled to expect our obedience
4 of 12
Situational variables - proximity
Original (adjoining room) - 65%, same room - 40%, force hand onto plate - 30%, instructions through phone - 20.5%
5 of 12
Situational variables - location
Original (Yale university) - 65%, run down building - 47.5%
6 of 12
Situational variables - uniform
Original (lab coat)- 65%, ordinary member of public - 20%
7 of 12
Evaluation - research support
Other studies have demonstrated the influence of these situational variables on obedience. Field experiment (NYC) confederates (3 outfits) - suit, milkman + security guard. Asked passers-by to perform tasks. Public 2x as likely to obey 'security'
8 of 12
Evaluation - lack of internal validity
Many participants realised shocks were fake, even more likely in variations, e.g. experimenter replaces by public - contrived, more likely could work out truth Limitation - unclear if results = obedience or =saw truth and acted accordingly
9 of 12
Evaluation - cross-cultural replications
Strength - findings have been replicated e.g. Spain = 90%, so conclusions apply to multiple cultures. However most replications are in developed, Western societies, similar to USA - findings may not apply to people everywhere
10 of 12
Evaluation - control of variables in milgram's variations
Strength - systematically altered one variable at a time (e.g. proximity) all other procedures and variables were kept the same as study was replicated repeatedly with over 1000 participants in total
11 of 12
Evaluation - the 'obedience alibi'
Findings from variations support a situational explanation of obedience. But this perspective has been criticised, arguing that it offers an excuse or an alibi for evil behaviour. It is offensive to Holocaust survivors that Nazis were victims of SF's
12 of 12

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The physical closeness or distance of an authority figure to the person they are giving an order to. Also refers to the physical closeness of the teacher to the victim (leaner) in Milgram's studies

Back

Proximity

Card 3

Front

The place where an order is issued. The relevant factor that influences obedience is the status or prestige associated with the location

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

People in positions of authority often have a specific outfit that is symbolic of their authority, for example police officers and judges. This indicates to the rest of us who is entitled to expect our obedience

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Original (adjoining room) - 65%, same room - 40%, force hand onto plate - 30%, instructions through phone - 20.5%

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Conformity resources »