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Milgram. Evaluation sheet of key research studies

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Summary sheet of key research studies Title: Obedience Author(s): Milgram (1963) Key words: Obedience, Meta-contras Aim: To see the point where an individual would stop inhumane behaviour, why people obey legitimate authority and to what extent Sample: 40 male participants from a wide range of occupations and backgrounds (through volunteer sampling - each participant would be given $4.50) Method; Lab Experiment. (Yale University) There were two confederates: the researcher (white coat) and a 'learner'. The participant 'won' the place of the learner (wink wink) and then administered a 15V to show that it was real. They were then taken to separate rooms, the learner was asked questions and if he answered a question wrong (most of the time), then a shock was administered by the participant. When he reached 300V, he screamed and pounded and didn't answer the question. This would count as a wrong answer and the study would proceed. If the teacher wanted to back they were probed to continue. Results: 65% of all of the participants went to 450V despite it saying 'XXX' and the preceding one saying 'Danger; sever shock', all participants went to 300V and only 12.5% stopped at that point (5 participants).14/40 even showed nervous laughing fits. ...read more.


showed 80% in Germany, Burley and McGuiness (1977) showed 50% in the UK. However both these studies differ in sampling and method. Evaluation points: method: Aronson and Carlsmith (1971) was high in experimental realism (as opposed to mundane realism) and thus lacks ecological validity which means it can not be applied to the outside world (external validity). Orne and Holland (1968) said that it also lacked internal validity because participants knew that the shocks weren't real because the 'teachers' notice that the 'experimenter' remains cool and distant which would lead them to think that they aren't really getting hurt, also they could have questioned why they needed to be there - why didn't the experimenter do it? However, Milgram showed participants did really think they were getting shocked through post-experiment interviews. Evaluation points: results: The results although are shocking should show that 35% did resist which is quite significant. When Milgram recreated the study, they had different results - for instance when he change the place there the study took place (from Yale to seedy office) ...read more.


Evaluation points: ethics: [Issue --> Response] Lack of informed consent --> People aren't complaining about how he did it, but what he found, when he asked the psychological community for probability of people doing they mentioned nothing about his method and thus he had presumed consent, they only objected when they saw that 65% of the people obeyed which is a huge infringement on what is seen as their western values - freedom. Difficulty in withdrawing --> 35% did, hard maybe but no impossible. Psychological Damage --> People were debriefed and told nobody was hurt, in questionnaire 84% glad they had taken part and only 1.3% sorry they had. They were checked by independent shrink after: they're fine! However; Murray (1959/62)'s participant 'Kaczynski' was said to have carried out bomb attacks because of Murray's tests - Milgram just got lucky! Evaluation points: implications/applications: This can be applied to My Lai, where those who carried out the massacre were probably in an agentic state and were obeying orders. The meta-contrast principle (huge differences in out group, similarities in group) could also be applied here. Milgram's studies could also be applied in Nazi Germany together with Mandel's findings go some way in providing a response to why such horrific attacks happened. ...read more.

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