Lesson 5 - Obedience To Authority Flashcards Preview

Social Influence - Module 2: Obedience > Lesson 5 - Obedience To Authority > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lesson 5 - Obedience To Authority Deck (9)
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What is Obedience?

Behaving as instructed by an authority figure


What is an authority figure?

They have status or power over others


Who conducted this experiment and when?

Milgram (1963)


What was Milgram’s Procedure? (Background and Introduction)

- Placed an advert in the newspaper for male participants
- They were told they were taking part in how the effect of punishment affects learning
- 40 participants were invited to Yale
- Participants met the experimenter, dressed in a white lab coat
- Participants were introduced to Mr Wallace (old man + weak heart)
- Participants were always teachers and Mr W was always the learner
- Mr W was told to memorise pairs of words
- Teacher was told to shock Mr Wallace every time he made a mistake, increasing the voltage every time.


What was Milgram’s Procedure? (what happened in lab)

- Teacher was in an adjoining room to the Learner
- Teacher had to administer shocks when Learner made a mistake
- Switches were labelled with voltage ratings, starting with 15V and ending at 450V
- Each group of switches were labelled e.g ‘XXX’ and ‘Severe Shock’
- As shocks became severe, Mr W demanded to be released, screamed, complained about his weak heart and eventually went quiet.
- Experimenter ensured that the teacher continued, even after the teacher became reluctant; the teacher was prompted to continue even saying ‘you have no choice, you must continue’


What were the findings of Milgram’s experiment?

- 100% of participants gave shocks up to 300V (Mr W stopped answering)
- 65% of participants gave shocks to maximum voltage: 450V
- Participants felt and showed a high level of stress during the experiment
- Most were obedient and willing to inflict lethal shocks on an old man w/heart problems


Evaluation of Milgram (1963) Ethics: Pros and Cons

- Deception: Participants were deceived about the true nature of the experiment
- Lack of Informed Consent: Led to believe they were administering real shocks and didn’t not agree to do so explicitly
- Psychological Harm: Participants were extremely distressed and were anxious (thought they had killed Mr W). This harm was not anticipated.
- No right to withdraw: Participants were not allowed to leaved and were forced to continue
- No Demand Characteristics: increases validity of study


Evaluation of Milgram (1963) Cost Benefit Analysis

- Study was worthwhile
- People take more responsibility
- People will not blindly follow orders
- Participants did not suffer any long term emotional disturbances
- 84% participants were happy to take part


Evaluation of Milgram (1963) Sample

- Gender Bias: Only men chosen
- Cultural Bias: Only white people chosen

Data is unrepresentative and cannot be generalised to women or people of other cultures