Groups - Obedience

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Groups - Obedience

  1. 1. Groups & Obedience The Milgram Experiment
  2. 2. Warm-up:  What would it take to make you do something that you normally would not?
  3. 3. Milgram’s Obedience Experiment     Early 1960’s Yale social psychologist Dr. Stanley Milgram Experiment Obedience to Authority vs. Personal Conscience
  4. 4. Experiment Question    Can a group cause a person to physically punish a victim with severity despite the victim’s pleas for mercy? Milgram’s research answered “yes” to this question. Peer Pressure can cause people to treat others in ways they otherwise would not!
  5. 5. Experiment Design    Research teams Experimenter and learner are “in” on the experiment Teachers are not   Teacher is instructed to shock the learner each time the learner gets an answer incorrect Learner is an actor who is told to get all answers wrong
  6. 6. Experiment Design   Generator has 30 switches in 15 volt increments labeled from 15 volts to 405 volts Also labeled ranging from slight shock to danger: severe shock
  7. 7. Experiment Design    As the learner answered the questions incorrectly, the teacher was encouraged to increase the power of the shock. Even as learners protested, the teacher, under the direction of the experimenter, increased the shocks. The learners did not really feel the shocks. They were acting but the teachers did not know it.
  8. 8. Experiment Design    As shocks became stronger, the learner “grunted, protested, and finally demanded that the experiment stop.” Learner also shouted “I can’t stand the pain!” The teachers asked the experimenters if they should continue and when told yes, they did continue with the shocks!
  9. 9. Experiment Results    65% of the teachers punished the learners to the maximum 420 volts. No teacher stopped before reaching 300 volts! People, just like you and me, shocked others because they were “following orders” and obeying an authority figure.
  10. 10. Experiment Results    Milgram set up a control group in which there was not an experimenter in the room with the teacher. Shock voltage was much lower in this control group. Thus group pressure heavily influenced the level of shock administration in the experiment.
  11. 11. Shock Generator
  12. 12. Graph illustrating levels of shock voltage  What conclusion can we draw from this graph?
  13. 13. Primetime Basic Instincts Video “The Science of Evil”    'Primetime' Re-Creates a Famous Experiment to Understand How Ordinary People Can Perform Unthinkable Acts Most of us have struggled to understand how seemingly ordinary people can sometimes do morally questionable things. Do you have to be an evil person to do evil things?
  14. 14. Primetime Basic Instincts Video “The Science of Evil”  Compare & contrast the 1960’s experiment with the new experiment  What are two examples from history and current events where the accused people have defended themselves with “I was just doing my job.”
  15. 15. Class Discussion:  Need for conformity in a society within the context of the problems that can arise with following norms blindly.  Relationship between norms and laws in society and the society’s values.
  16. 16. Implications    We did not need Milgram to tell us that we have a tendency to obey orders. But what we did not know before Milgram's experiments was just how powerful this tendency is. And having been enlightened about our extreme readiness to obey authorities, we can try to take steps to guard against unwelcome or reprehensible commands.
  17. 17. Implications     Many professions have taken heed of Milgram's work. The US army, for example, now incorporates his findings into its education of officers in order to illuminate the issue of following unethical orders. However, it is not clear that medicine has truly understood the implications of Milgram's work. How often are doctors or medical students in the position of having to obey "orders" or implicit expectations in hospitals or clinics, when they are uneasy about the ethics of doing so?
  18. 18. Was it ethical?   Teacher subjects were encouraged to hurt others even when they expressed concern about it How did it affect them to hear the screams and pleas of the learners and to think that they were real?
  19. 19. How do groups influence our behavior?    Have you ever been “egged on” by the crowd? Or done anything just because everyone else did? Have you ever done something that you normally would not because you were “following orders?”

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