The Social Approach

Topics: Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment, Experiment Pages: 12 (2848 words) Published: April 27, 2015
Key Terms
Agentic State
Becoming an agent of authority, not taking responsibility for actions and going against morals. Autonomous State
A mental condition proposed by Milgram where the person is acting and thinking as an autonomous independent individual and in which an individual conscience is fully aware. Moral Strain
Pressure of feelings and going against own conscience in doing something you know to be wrong. In/Out group
In group- Everyone inside your group.
Out group- everyone else outside your group.
Social categorisation
Categorising yourself as being part of a group.
Social comparison
Looking for differences, maximising group differences between in group and outgroups. Prejudice
The pre-Judge a group based on limited information from stereotyping. Discrimination
An often negative judgement about an outgroup.
Stanley Milgram
Milgram wanted to understand why German Nazis had so readily carried out orders to persecute Jews. Original Study (1963)
Aims
To see how far ordinary people would go in administrating shocks to someone else. Method
40 Males from Newhaven near Yale, USA aged between 20-50, advertisement. $4per hour. Opportunity sampling. The naïve participant was always the teacher. The learner strapped to shock generator next door. Teacher in next room shown generator and told to read out word pairs and give the learner a shock for each incorrect answer and increase each voltage each time beginning at 15V ending at 450V. Milgram script (Verbal Prods) – “Continue using the last script please.” “I am responsible please continue.”

“Although the shock is painful there is no permanent tissue damage.” Learner responses- ”Let me out” – 150V
“I can’t stand the pain its hurting, let me out”- 180V Doesn’t say anything. Is he dead? – 300V
Results
65%- 450V
100%- 300V
Teachers protested, nervous laughing, sweated and 2 had epileptic fits. Conclusions
Ordinary people will obey from an authority figure even when uncomfortable doing so. Evaluations
Reliabilty
Standardised procedure - verbal prods and recordings.
Good tight controls allowing replication for reliability
Validity
Because the lab setting and task to electrocute someone was artificial , ecological validity is lacking because we can’t assume someone would be the same in a different setting. Generalisability
Results are difficult to generalise to women and other cultures because only men from Newhaven were participants. Therefore it is difficult to make predictions about women and people from different cultures. Ethics

By today’s standards the experiment would be unethical because there was no informed consent and participants were deceived. They also had no rights to withdraw. However Milgram felt results were important so he fully debriefed all participants and gave them counselling. Milgram’s Variations

After publishing the original experiment Milgram listened carefully to feedback received from other psychologists. Suggestions included; Study took place at Yale University, a prestigious university which could have added legitimacy to the minds of the participants, causing them to trust the university must have some sort of plan and would be responsible. Victim was out of sight, p didn’t know learner and don’t see the pain. They can’t see if they are dead ether decreasing empathy and responsibility. The experimenter remained in the room thorough the experiment, p would be more obedient and it would be more difficult to say no. When the experimenter did leave the room p’s gave a lower voltage shock. It was hard to say no to the authority The teacher was alone but what if a “friend” was supporting him. 90% stopped when the friend stopped and when peer said to continue they continued. What if there were 2 experimenters disagreeing, what woud happen if one told the p to stop? P looked for a way out of harming learner and stops if told – obedience If the teacher physically placed the learners hand on the sock plate....
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