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Conformity and Obedience

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S: By: Alyssa, Jaci, Sonya, and Emily Period 2

BC: The End | Milgram created a documentary film titled Obedience showing the experiment and its results. He also produced a series of five social psychology films, some of which dealt with his experiments.

FC: Conformity and Obedience

1: Conformity | * Tendency to for people to adopt the behavior, attitudes, and beliefs of other members of the group * Can be in response to real or imagined group pressure

2: Asch Conformity Experiments | *Considered the most famous studies of the factors associated with conformity to group pressure *Asch began the experiments by inviting seven to nine male students into college classroom. * The real subjects, “nave sunject”, and the confederates, “instructed students” * Series of studies published in the 1950s that demonstrated the power of conformity in groups

3: They were asked a variety of questions about the lines such as how long is A, compare the length of A to an everyday object, which line was longer than the other, which lines were the same length, etc. The group was told to announce their answers to each question out loud. The confederates always provided their answers before the study participant, and always gave the same answer as each other. They answered a few questions correctly but eventually began providing incorrect responses. Results indicate that one confederate has virtually no influence and two confederates have only a small influence. When three or more confederates are present, the tendency to conform is relatively stable. 76 % of the nave subjects agreed with the incorrect majority opinion at least once while 5 % conformed everytime.

4: Factors that promote Conformity | Size of the majority Unamity of the majority Characteristics of the majority Difficult of the task

6: Stanley Milgram's Unethical Experiment

8: Obedience | Performance of an action in response to the direct orders of an authority or person of higher status

10: Milgram's Experiment | July 1961 at Yale University, sparked debates about the willingness of ordinary citizens to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform actions that conflicted with their personal values. Milgrim’s use of deception influenced the debate about the proper code of ethics in psychological research.

11: First, The volunteer subject was given the role of teacher, and the confederate (an actor), the role of learner. The participants drew slips of paper to 'determine' their roles. Unknown to the subject, both slips said "teacher", and the actor claimed to have the slip that read "learner", thus guaranteeing that the participant would always be the "teacher". At this point, the "teacher" and "learner" were separated into different rooms where they could communicate but not see each other. In one version of the experiment, the confederate was sure to mention to the participant that he had a heart condition.

12: Milgram's Experiment Continued | The "teacher" was given an electric shock from the electro-shock generator as a sample of the shock that the "learner" would supposedly receive during the experiment. The "teacher" was then given a list of word pairs which he was to teach the learner. The teacher began by reading the list of word pairs to the learner. The teacher would then read the first word of each pair and read four possible answers. The learner would press a button to indicate his response. If the answer was incorrect, the teacher would administer a shock to the learner, with the voltage increasing in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer. If correct, the teacher would read the next word pair.

13: Then, the subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks. In reality, there were no shocks. After the confederate was separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level. After a number of voltage level increases, the actor started to bang on the wall that separated him from the subject. After several times banging on the wall and complaining about his heart condition, all responses by the learner would cease.

14: Results | In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment, some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment.

16: The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation. | Migram explained his experiment in "The Perils of Obedience"

17: Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

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