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474 group influences, conformity, obedience, aggression up
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474 group influences, conformity, obedience, aggression up






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  • 23 volunteers recruited from newspaper ads, randomly assigned to either prisoner or guard
  • Deindividuation: prisoners arrested by local police, read rights and taken to Stanford basement, where they were deloused, strip searched and instructed to wear nylon stocking over the heads, a burlap sack & sandals.Guards wore kaki uniforms, mirror sunglasses, given billy clubs and told to do what is necessary to keep order. Prisoners soon took on a depraved role, and guards became sadistic and cruel, denying the prisoners food, water and sleep, shooting them with fire-extinguisher spray, throwing their blankets into dirt, stripping them naked and dragging rebels across the yard, and ordering the prisoners to simulate sodomy.The experiment was scheduled to run 2 weeks but was terminated after 5 days because one prisoner broke out in hives and had to be released from the experiment. Difference between Zimbardo and Milgram: Milgram’s study only looked at one aspect of behavior, obedience to authority, in short 50-minute takes. He showed that an authority can command people to do things they believe they’d never do--to give what they thought were painful and possibly lethal shocks to complete strangers. The Prison Experiment, because it was slated to go on for two weeks, allowed behavior to unfold over time, people to be absorbed by their roles when they were deindividuated.Zimbardo: “There developed a growing confusion between reality and illusion, between role-playing and self-identity..this prison we created was absorbing us in its own reality.”
  • Zimbardo: “It’s not that we put bad apples in a good barrel. We put good apples in a bad barrel. The barrel corrupts everything that it touches.”
  • The Pentagon blamed the whole thing on a “few bad apples.”Zimbardo was an expert witness for Sgt. Chip Frederick, who was ultimately sentenced to eight years for his role at Abu Ghraib. Frederick was the Army reservist who was put in charge of the night shift at Tier 1A, where detainees were abused. Frederick said, up front, “What I did was wrong, and I don’t understand why I did it.” He worked 40 days without a single break, 12-hour shifts. The place was overcrowded, filthy, dangerous, under constant bombardment.The C.I.A., civilian interrogators, military intelligence saying to the Army reservists, “Soften these detainees up for interrogation.”Zimbardo: Human behavior is more influenced by things outside of us than inside. The “situation” is the external environment. The inner environment is genes, moral history, religious training. There are times when external circumstances can overwhelm us, and we do things we never thought. If you’re not aware that this can happen, you can be seduced by evil.

474 group influences, conformity, obedience, aggression up 474 group influences, conformity, obedience, aggression up Presentation Transcript

  •  We are social creatures who areby nature susceptible to socialinfluence Requires understanding of socialinfluences, influences of thegroup Group and social influences canresult in either highly desirable orhighly undesirable behaviors (Political) aggression as a socialactivity influenced by groups andgroup context Genocide, mass killings and otherforms of aggression are oftenfacilitated by psychological andsocial processes
  •  Considers effects of group settings on: attitudes, opinion expression, behavior Largely based on experimentalresearch Stems in part from interest incompliance and obedience toauthority in 1930s and 40s Sherif’s (1935) studies of norm formation Asch - compliance experiment Milgram - obedience experiment Zimbardo’s - prison experimentWannsee Conference, Berlin, January 1942 to implementthe “final solution.” The codification of murder in orderto expedite existing policy. Attended by Hitlers chieflieutenants, Göring and the SS chief Heinrich Himmler.
  •  Conformity--a change in behavior or belief as aresult of real or “imagined” group pressure. It is not simply acting like others, but also being influencedby how they act. You “consciously” act differently from the way you wouldact alone. Unlike obedience, conformity does not require commandsor coercion by an authority.
  •  Are you a conformist? We all think we are "standing alone in a crowd ofsheep.” Are labels influenced by a cultural context?
  •  1. Compliance - involves publicly acting inaccord with social pressure while privatelydisagreeing. Why do we do this? We comply to receive a reward or to avoid apunishment. Obedience: compliance to an externalcommand.
  •  2. Acceptance - involves both acting andbelieving in accord with social pressure. We may decide to discriminate or not todiscriminate against others because our groupviews such behavior as morally right
  •  Dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in1971 at Stanford University Planned two week full role-playing by collegestudents randomly assigned as guards orprisoners Had to be ended after just six days In only a few days, guards became sadistic andprisoners became depressed, signs of extremestress
  • Milgram advertised for participants to getpaid for completingYale study on memory. 2 people showed up to psychology lab.One was true S & the other a confederate. A stern experimenter in a lab coat,explained that study was interested in theeffect of punishment on learning.
  •  The S was to play the role of “teacher;” theconfederate, the role of “learner.” “Teacher” was to read word pairs to the“learner” who was in another room hookedup to shock leads. With each missed word, the S was to shockthe “learner.”
  •  The shock panel had switches rangingfrom 15 to 450 volts in 15-volt increments. Switches were labeled: “slight shock,”“very strong shock,” “danger: severeshock,” etc.How many Ss went on shocking the“learner” all the way?
  •  Everyone thoughtthey would stop atsome point Experts predictedno more than 1 or2 percent wouldgo all the way
  •  65-66% of Ss continued shocking “learner” tofull capacity.
  •  1. Emotional distance of victim 2. Closeness & legitimacy of the authority 3. Institutional authority 4. Common man 5. Disobedience
  •  Hofling et al. (1966) Unknown doctor called nurses and asked them toadminister 20 milligrams of the drug "Astroten" toa patient on the ward.Violated Astroten“ hospitalpolicy. 21/22 (95%) of the nurses were about toadminister the drug, before being stopped anddebriefed by one of the researchers
  •  The researchers told a group of nurses andnursing students about the study and askedthem how they would react. Nearly all said they would not have given themedication as ordered.
  •  Replicated Milgram exactly, except that▪ (a) participants were male & female college students,▪ (b) victim was a "cute, fluffy, puppy," and (c) the shockswere real. Participants instructed to deliver a shock eachtime the puppy failed to learn a discriminationtask, which was actually unsolvable Percent delivering the maximum amount of shocksimilar to percent in Milgram’s studies.
  •  Thomas Blass Examined Milgram studies andreplications during a 25-year period from1961 to 1985. Correlated year of 25-publication and the amount of obedience. No significant correlation between year and% obedient.
  •  Individual characteristics Right-wing authoritarianism & submission to authority Education High self-monitors But, situational pressures are more important Can greatly increase or decrease obedience levels byaltering situational characteristics Also, extremist acts of violence are nearly alwayscommitted by groups as opposed to individuals wherepressures to conform are much greater▪ Need to study groups in explaining genocide and mass killings
  •  1. Group size- 3-5 people will elicit moreconformity than 1 or 2 people. Beyond 5 people- conformity drops off.
  •  An individual who disagrees with a group,& punctures the group’s unanimitydeflates its social power. Ss will voice their own views if just 1 personhas done so.
  • The Lucifer Effect:Understanding How Good PeopleTurn Evil
  •  23 volunteers recruited from local newspaperads, randomly assigned to either prisoner orguard
  • Consider the psychological consequences ofstripping, delousing, and shaving the heads ofprisoners or members of the military.Whattransformations take place when people gothrough an experience like this?Texas prison
  •  Deindividuation Prisoners soon took on a depraved role, andguards became sadistic and cruel. The experiment was scheduled to run 2weeks but was terminated after 5 days. Difference between Zimbardo and Milgram?
  •  In 2003 U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib, 20miles west of Baghdad.The prisoners were stripped, made to wearbags over their heads, and sexually humiliated while the guardslaughed and took photographs. How is this abuse similar to ordifferent from what took place in the Stanford Prison Experiment?
  •  The Pentagon blamed the whole thing on a “fewbad apples.” Zimbardo was an expert witness for Sgt. ChipFrederick, who was ultimately sentenced toeight years for his role at Abu Ghraib. The C.I.A., civilian interrogators, militaryintelligence were saying to the Armyreservists, “Soften these detainees up forinterrogation.” Zimbardo: What is the lesson here?