Psychology: Social Influence - Obedience

  • Created by: XmyG111
  • Created on: 14-11-20 13:21
What is Obedience?
- A change in behaviour because we have been directed to do so, even though we would not choose to behave in the way we are directed.
- Refers to following a direct order form somebody, usually from an authority figure.
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Stanley Milgram (1963)
- Why were the German population so willing to follow the others of Hitler and slaughter over 10 million Jews, as well as other social groups?
- Are Germans more obedient? Or was it simply the situation they were put in that made them obedient?
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What year did the Milgram Shock Experiment take place?
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How did Milgram recruit his participants?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- A newspaper advert.
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How many participants did Milgram recruit?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- 40 Male Participants.
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How much did Milgram pay the participants in his study?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
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Where did Milgram's experiment take place?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Yale University.
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The participants were not told the true nature of the study, what were they told the study was about?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Memory and Learning
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What role were the participants rigged to get?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Teacher
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What were the participants instructed to do if the Learner got an answer incorrect?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Shock them, in increasing intervals for each answer they got wrong.
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What was the highest level of voltage the participants could give?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
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What did the Learner do at 300v and 315v?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Banged on the wall.
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What percentage of people administered shock after 300 volts?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
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What percentage of people administered the maximum shock of 450 volts?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
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Give an example of a prompt given by the Experimenter to the Teacher (Participant).
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Prod 1: 'Please continue'.
- Prod 2: 'The experiment requires that you continue'.
- Prod 3: 'It is absolutely essential that you continue'.
- Prod 4: 'You have no other choice, you must go on'.
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What percentage of participants stopped at 300 volts?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
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What type of data was collected in the Milgram Shock Experiment?
- Qualitative Data.
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What did experts presume prior to the experiment?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- They assumed that people would have
to be a psychopath to shock
other people.
- Around 1-3% of participants would give shocks.
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What did Milgram argue after the experiment?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- The research can be applied to real life.
- The experiment was a true reflection of real life authority relationships.
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Hofling (1966)
(Hospital Study on Obedience)
- A more realistic study on obedience tan Milgram's Experiment.
- Field Experiment on unknowing participants.
- A 'doctor' phoned nurses in the middle of the night, telling them to administer a lethal amount of drugs to patients.
- 21/22 of the nurses ob
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Orne and Holland (1968)
- Participants did not believe the set up - they guessed it was not real.
- Demand Characteristics.
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Perry (2013)
- He listened to tapes from the study and recorded that participants expressed doubts about the shocks.
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Sheridan and King (1972)
- Real shocks were given to puppies.
- 54% of male participants delivered the highest level of shock.
- 100% of female participants delivered the highest level of shock.
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What are the ethical issues with the research?
(Milgram Shock Experiment)
- Took away participants 'Right to Withdraw'.
- He did not have informed consent prior
to the experiment -> participants were subject to psychological distress.
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Situational Variables:
- Same Room: Placed in the same
room. Learner, Teacher and Experimenter could see each other.
- Touch Proximity: Had to force participant's hand down onto the electroshock plate.
- Remote Instruction: The experimenter left the room and gave instructions
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Situational Variables:
Proximity Obedience Levels
- Same Room: Dropped to 40%
- Touch Proximity: Dropped to 30%
- Remote Instructions: Dropped to 20%
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Situational Variables:
- The study was set in a run down building, instead of Yale University.
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Situational Variables:
Location Obedience Levels
- Location: Dropped to 47.5%
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Situational Variables:
- Wore 'casual' clothes instead of a lab coat.
- Made real participants see them as other participants.
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Situational Variables:
Uniform Obedience Levels
- Uniform: Dropped to 20%
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Bickman (1974)
(Situational Variables)
- Field Experiment in New York.
- Dressed 3 different confederates in different uniforms, and asked passers-by to to do tasks like pick up litter.
- Dressed as a Guard: 89% Obeyed
- Dressed as a Milkman: 57% Obeyed
- Dressed as a Civilian: 33% Obeyed.
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Miranda et al (1981)
(Situational Variables)
- When the studies were replicated with Spanish students, similar results were obtained to Milgram.
- Suggests that the conclusions about
situational variables can be applied to other cultures, not just American.
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Orne and Holland
(Situational Variables)
- Milgram's Variations lacked Internal Validity.
- Suggested that the variations made the setting even more unbelievable.
- Participants behaviour may be due to Demand Characteristics.
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What were the factors, other than the situational variables, that made people obey.
- The Agentic State.
- The Legitimacy of Authority.
- Authoritarian Personality.
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The Agentic State
- 'Acting as an agent for the person in authority'.
- A shift from an autonomous to an agentic state.
- Feeling powerless to disobey.
- May use strategies to minimise anxiety felt.
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Blass and Schmitt
(Agentic State)
- Showed the Milgram film to the students. They were asked who they thought was responsible for the 'Harm to the Learner'.
- Most blamed the experimenter and not the actual participants delivering the 'shocks'.
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Legitimacy of Authority
- Most societies have a hierarchy.
- Authority is 'legitimate' if it is agreed by society.
- We are willing to give up our independent behaviour to authority because we trust them.
- We learn at a young age that we should obey authority figures.
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The My Lai Massacre (1968)
- 500 unarmed villagers were killed by American soldiers.
- Only 1 soldier faced charges and was found guilty - said he was only 'following orders'.
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Authoritarian Personality
- Very obedient to authority.
- Extreme respect for authority.
- Submissive to authority.
- Dislike people with inferior social status.
- Highly conventional attitudes towards race, sex, gender etc.
- Traditional values.
- Inflexible in their thoughts.
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What did Adorno develop?
- Developed the 'F-Scale' to test for the Authoritarian personality.
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Adorno et al (1966)
- Milgram and his assistant Alan Elms conducted interviews with a small sample of fully obedient participants, who scored highly on the F-Scale.
- Demonstrating further that there may be a link between obedience and authoritarian personality.
- Suggests t
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Problems with the Adorno Research
- It is based on research using
the f-scale (a questionnaire).
- Response bias and/or social desirability.
- Suggests some participants may have lied in the study.
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What is Social Support?
- The presence of people who resist pressures to conform or obey can help others do the same.
- These people act as 'role models' to show that resistance to social influence
is possible.
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Resisting Conformity
- The pressure to conform is reduced if there are other people who are not conforming.
- The other person not conforming acts
as a role model
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Resisting Obedience
- Social support can help reduce obedience.
- The other person not obeying acts
as a role model.
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Allen and Levine (1971)
(Resisting Conformity)
- Conducted a similar study to Asch and found that conformity decreased when there was a dissenter.
- This occurred even when they wore thick glasses (give the impression they had poor eyesight).
- Supports view social support increases resistance to conf
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Gamson et al (1982)
(Resisting Obedience)
- Conducted a study where they were placed either alone or in a group.
- Asked to design a hate campaign.
- Pps in groups were less likely to obey orders.
- Pps alone were more likely to obey orders.
- Suggests that with social support, obedience levels d
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Locus of Control
- Refers to the sense we have about what directs events in our lives.
- LoC to a person's perception of personal control over their own behaviour.
- It is measured along a dimension of 'high internal' and 'high external'.
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High Internal
(Locus of Control)
- Perceive themselves as having a great deal of control over their behaviour.
- They are therefore more likely to take responsibility for their behaviour.
- What happens is seen as a product of their own ability and effort -> "I made that happen".
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High External
(Locus of Control)
- They believe what happens is down to things being caused by external factors.
- E.g. fate, luck, parents, teachers etc.
- "That happened because I was
in the wrong place at the wrong time".
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Resisting Social Influence
(Locus of Control)
- High Internal LoC are active seekers of information, and are less likely to rely on the opinions of others.
- High Internal LoC are better able to resist coercion from others.
- High Internal LoC are more likely to show independent behaviour and resist
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(Research support for Locus of Control)
- Repeated Milgram's Study.
- Measured LoC of participants before hand.
- 37% of internal did not continue to highest shock level.
- 23% of externals resisted obedience.
- Shows that internal LoC is an accurate explanation of obedience.
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Twenge et al (2004)
(Research against Locus of Control)
- People more resistant to obedience over years - more external LoC.
- Suggests that link between internal LoC and resistance may be invalid.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


- Why were the German population so willing to follow the others of Hitler and slaughter over 10 million Jews, as well as other social groups?
- Are Germans more obedient? Or was it simply the situation they were put in that made them obedient?


Stanley Milgram (1963)

Card 3




Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


- A newspaper advert.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


- 40 Male Participants.


Preview of the back of card 5
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