Social Psychology

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What was the background to Milgram's Research?
After the Holocaust of WW2, people assumed that the German people had a psychological defect that made them more obedient to authority. Milgram disputed this
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What was the aim of Milgram's study?
To test what level of obedience would be shown when someone was given an immoral order by an authority figure
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Describe the participants of Milgram's study
40 men aged 20-50 in the New Haven area, from a range of occupations, were advertised for in the National Press to attend a study at Yale University (Self Selecting/ Volunteer Sample)
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What were the experimenters prods in Milgram's study?
Please continue, please go on, the experiment requires you continue, it's essential that you must continue, you have no choice you must go on, the shocks are painful but cause no permanent tissue damage
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What were the qualitative findings of the Milgram research?
14 participants had nervous laughter fits but immediately stated they weren't enjoying administering the shocks, all participants showed severe signs of stress - sweating, shaking, biting their lips, digging their nails into their palms
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What were the quantitative findings of the Milgram research?
65% of participants were classified as OBEDIENT - went all the way to 450V, which was 3X enough to kill 35% were classified as DEFIANT participants - stopped shortly after 300V
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What were some of the reasons Milgram believed there were such high levels of obedience?
Participants felt like they couldn't back out after being paid, or because it was at a prestigious university, they were told the shocks didn't cause permanent damage, from a young age we are taught to obey authority
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3 strengths of Milgram's research?
High control - lab experiment Standardised procedure - every participant experienced exactly the same things in the same order Participants were convinced of the validity of the study (Sample shock, ect)
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3 weaknesses of Milgram's research?
Highly unethical Low ecological validity - lab experiment Unrepresentative Sample
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What method was the Milgram experiment?
Lab experiment
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Ethical issues of Milgram's study?
DECEPTION - deceived about true purpose of experiment CONSENT - gave consent but not to true aim CONFIDENTIAL - no details released OBSERVATION - only observed in lab WITHDRAW - couldn't withdraw PROTECT - psych harm ADVICE - none DEBRIEF - debriefed
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What was the aim of Piliavin's study?
To investigate the variables on helping behaviour on the NY subway after the murder of Kitty Genovese
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What were the four areas of focus for Piliavin's study?
Responsibility of the victim (drunk/lame), Race of the victim, Effect of modelling (witnessing another person help), Effect of size of group (diffusion of responsibility)
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What were the IV's in Piliavin's study?
The condition of the victim (drunk/lame), race of the victim, presence of a model (early/late response), number of bystanders present (varied naturally)
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What were the DV's in Piliavin's study?
Time taken for first person to help, total no. of passengers that helped, gender/race and location of each helper, time taken for first passenger to help after model intervention, movement of people in/out of critical area, spontaneous comments made
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Describe the participants of Piliavin's study
Approx. 4450 men and women on the A&D trains in New York, between 11am and 3pm from April 15th to June 26th 1968. 55% white, 45% black (racial composition of train) Mean no. of passengers per carriage was 43 - mean of critical area was 8
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Describe the confederates of Piliavin's study
Teams of 4 - 2 males aged 26 -35 dressed identically (one black, one white - took it in turns to play the victim/model) and 2 female (who were always observers)
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What was the procedure of Piliavin's study?
70 seconds into the journey, the victim collapsed (either drunk or ill). The model intervened either 70 seconds later (early help) or 150 seconds later (late help)
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3 strengths of Piliavin's study?
High ecological validity - field experiment No demand characteristics - participants didn't know they were being watched Sample size was large - fairly reprisentitive
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3 weaknesses of Piliavin's study?
Broke numerous ethical guidelines Researchers had very little control - field experiment Very time consuming and possibly expensive to conduct
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What method was Piliavin's study?
Field experiment
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What were the findings of Piliavin's study?
Lame victim - 95% spontaneous help, Drunk victim - 50% spontaneous help, 90% of helpers were male, 64% helpers were white - this was expected due to racial composition of the train, more spontaneous comments were recorded for the drunk victim
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Ethical issues of Piliavin's study?
DECEPTION - didn't know they were in the study CONSENT - didn't consent CONFIDENTIALITY - no details released OBSERVATION - only observed in public places WITHDRAW - couldn't withdraw ADVICE - none DEBRIEF - none
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What was the background to Reicher and Haslam's study?
Stanford Prison experiment - Zimbardo's experiment went horribly wrong and is considered one of the most unethical psychological studies ever conducted
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What was the aim of Reicher and Haslam's study?
To recreate Zimbardo's experiment ethically, to challenge the situational hypothesis proposed by Zimbardo, to show that group membership has a bigger impact overall on behaviour than first assumed
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What were the IV's of Reicher and Haslam's study?
Permeability of roles (promotion of prisoner to guard), Legitimacy of roles (participants told guards were assigned at random - no special skills required), Participants' belief about possibility of change (new prisoner - trade unionist - introduced)
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What were the DV's of Reicher and Haslam's study?
Social Variables (social ID, awareness of alternative plans of action, right wing authoritarianism), Organisational Variables (compliance with rules), Clinical Variables (depression, stress and hormones, self efficiency)
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Desrcibe how the participants were selected in Reicher and Haslam's study
Leaflets and ads in the national press for BBC study-332 applicants to 15 after 3 phases of screening. PSYCHOMETRIC - measured social variables, and clinical variables. Full weekend assessment. Medical/Character references and police checks conducted
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Describe the process of assigning participants to prisoners and guards in Reicher and Haslam's study?
All participants were allocated to 5 groups of 3 that were closely matched on personality variables. One of the three was randomly assigned to be a guard, the other two were prisoners
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What were the guards uniforms and conditions like in Reicher and Haslam's study?
The guards upon entering the mock prison had superior food and living quarters, as well as well-made, comfortable uniforms
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What were the prisoners uniforms and conditions like in Reicher and Haslam's study?
There were three prisoners to a cell. Upon arriving at the mock prison, their heads were shaved. Their uniforms consisted of loose trousers, flimsy sandals and a tshirt with a number printed on it. They had worse food than the guards
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What method was Reicher and Haslam's study?
Repeated measures - it would've been too expensive to have prisoners in separate prisons
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Strengths of Reicher and Haslam's study
High control - lab experiment BPS scrutinised study to ensure it was as ethical as possible
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Weaknesses of Reicher and Haslam's study
Low ecological validity - fake environment Fairly unethical - some participants did suffer psychological harm because of the behaviour of other participants
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What is the main assumption of the Social Approach to Psychology?
The people we are with and the social situation we are in has an effect on the way we behave
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What are the strengths of the Social Approach?
Helps us to understand how the situation influences behaviour rather than looking at the characteristics of the person
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What are the weaknesses of the Social Approach?
Experimental methods, like lab experiments, lack ecological validity. Research may be deterministic and may overestimate situational factors and underestimate the effect of individual differences
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What was the aim of Milgram's study?

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To test what level of obedience would be shown when someone was given an immoral order by an authority figure

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Describe the participants of Milgram's study

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What were the experimenters prods in Milgram's study?

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What were the qualitative findings of the Milgram research?

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