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Social Psychology - Milgram, Zimbardo prison study

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Psychology- Milgram, Zimbardo prison study Sherif's Conformity and the autokinetic effect experiment Individuals were asked to estimate how far they thought The light moved, and then tested them together in a group. Group norm was established informational social influence Asch - Stimulus line- 74% of the innocent participants Went along with the group and conformed at least once Zimbardo's Prison simulation experiment- example of Normative influence, Volunteers were given authority and Asked to act as guards over other volunteers were prisoners. Aim: to see the psychological effects of making 'normal', 'Good' people into prisoners or guards.Volunteers: 24 mid Class, male college students, mentally fine and no criminal records, were paid $15 per day and divided into prisoners or guards by the flip of a ...read more.


Procedure: Volunteers were told to administer electric shocks of increasing voltage, up to 450V, to a 'learner' each time the learner made an error. An 'experimenter' was overseeing the operation and dressed in a white lab coat. When the 'learner' started to make errors and the 'teacher' began to worry, the 'experimenter' reminded them of the need to continue. Predictions: Milgram asked 40 psychiatrists to predict the results, they said that less than 1% would go all the way Results: The psychiatrists were very wrong. Obedience rates were way higher. Two thirds of volunteers went up to 450V. No one stopped before 275V! Were Milgram and Zimbardo unethical? ...read more.


It is important to remember that neither Milgram nor Zimbardo expected their experiments to have such dramatic effects, although this does not absolve responsibility! To this end, Milgram consulted psychiatrists before carrying out his experiments - he debriefed and followed people up- even after a year - to make sure they weren't hurt by the experience. Most volunteers said they were pleased that they took part. Before his prison experiment, Zimbardo used personality tests on volunteers to select stable characters. Milgram and Zimbardo were very mindful of the state of mind of their volunteers and followed them all up carefully afterwards. Their work has had important implications for the way in which we view cases of blind obedience in real life, for example, the Jim Jones cult suicides and the running of prison systems. ...read more.

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