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Outline Obedience Milgram Experiment Responsibility and Obedience Diffusion of Responsibility.

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Presentation on theme: "Outline Obedience Milgram Experiment Responsibility and Obedience Diffusion of Responsibility."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Outline Obedience Milgram Experiment Responsibility and Obedience Diffusion of Responsibility

3 Extreme Obedience Jonestown, Guyana, 1978 Jim Jones, cult leader of The People’s Temple, persuaded his followers to drink Kool- Aid laced with cyanide 913 died, including >200 children poisoned by their parents Factors cult members felt alienated from American society cult members were in an isolated location Jones was very charismatic Jones promised life “in a better place” Waco Texas, USA, 1993 David Koresh, cult leader of the Branch Davidians, maintained an armed standoff with the government for 51 days until he and cult members died in a fire of unknown origin over 80 adults and children died

4 Extreme Obedience An estimated 210 million people were killed by genocide in 20 th century. Nazi Holocaust Germany & Poland (Europe) 1941-1945 6,000,000 Rwanda (Africa) 1994 800,000

5 Are the people who commit such acts inherently evil? Adolf Eichmann supervised the deportation of 6,000,000 Jews to Nazi gas chambers Were Germans generally evil? Was Eichmann an evil sadist or merely a cog in the wheel?

6 The Milgram Experiments Obedience  Willingness to obey the commands of a legitimate authority Procedures:  ‘Teacher’ & ‘Student’: learn word pairs  ‘Teacher’ required to administer shock to ‘learner’ for errors

7 Milgram Video: Questions How did Milgram make the situation seem realistic? What was the task for the learner and for the teacher? How did the learner protest? What sorts of things did the experimenter say to encourage the teacher to obey? What made the experimenter seem like an authority? How far did subjects go before stopping? Did the real subjects enjoy shocking the learner? Were they sadists? Did the subjects obey just because Yale researchers had legitimate authority? … and a few things to think about… Was the study ethical? Were the results worth it? Why did so many people obey? What would you have done in that situation?

8 Obedience Song Obedience Song (4.067 MB) ….this is what happens when social psychologists have too much time on their hands…

9 Factors That Affect Obedience 1. Remoteness of the victim  teacher and learner in separate rooms: 65% obedience  teacher and learner in same room: 40% obedience  teacher and learner in physical contact (teacher had to put learners hand on apparatus): 30% obedience 2. Closeness and legitimacy of authority figure  “ordinary person” confederate instead of experimenter: 20% obedience 3. Personal characteristics  no significant differences based on sex (though women reported feeling more guilty), politics, religion, occupation, education, military service, or psychological characteristics 4. Cog in a Wheel  “another subject” confederate does the dirty work and real subject assists: 93% obedience  “another subject” confederate disobeys: 10% obedience  subjects told they are responsible for learner’s welfare: 0% obedience

10 Responsibility and Obedience “I refuse to take the responsibility of him getting hurt in there.” “Who takes the responsibility if anything happens to that gentleman in there?”

11 At 3:00 a.m., a woman drives home She starts walking towards her entrance. But, then, sees a man standing at the edge of the parking lot Instead, she heads towards street for police "call box" The man grabs her She screams "Oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please help me! Please help me!” IF PEOPLE SAW THIS: HOW MANY OF THEM WOULD BE WILLING TO TRY TO HELP THE WOMAN? (Helping includes picking up the phone to call the police) Part 1

12 A. No one would be willing to try to help. B. One or two people would be willing to try to help. C. Half the people would be willing to try to help. D. More than half the people would be willing to try to help. E. Most of the people would be willing to try to help. (choose only ONE)

13 Someone from an apartment building floor higher up yells out "Let that girl alone!" Hearing this, the killer starts walking away toward a white car. The neighbors turns out their lights But, the killer returns and starts stabbing her again. This time she screams "I'm dying! I'm dying!." IF PEOPLE SAW THIS, HOW MANY OF THEM WOULD BE WILLING TO TRY TO HELP THE WOMAN? Part 2

14 Neighbors again open their windows and turn on their lights; a city bus drives by; the killer runs to his car and starts to drive off. The woman is now struggling to make it to her apartment. IF PEOPLE SAW THIS, HOW MANY OF THEM WOULD BE WILLING TO TRY TO HELP THE WOMAN? Part 3

15 Now, it's around 3:45 a.m.: The killer returns again, searches for the woman, finds her, and seems to deliver the final, fatal stab wound. IF PEOPLE SAW THIS, HOW MANY OF THEM WOULD BE WILLING TO TRY TO HELP THE WOMAN? Part 4

16 Queens, New York. A total of 38 neighbors watched Stabbed to death over 35 min period The first phone call = 3:50 a.m. after Kitty was already dead. Kitty Genovese

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18 What is Wrong with These People? They are New Yorkers: callous and uncaring individuals Fundamental attribution error  Blaming the others' personality while over- looking the situational factors

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20 When Do People Help?? “Bystander Effect”(Darley & Lantané )  People are less likely to intervene if there are more people around As the number of bystanders increases, the likelihood of any one bystander helping decreases and the more time passes before anyone helps

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22  The decrease in an individual's sense of responsibility to help in an emergency when other bystanders are present. Responsibility gets diffused out across all people present Diffusion of Responsibility

23 “I used to ask myself, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something?!’ Then I realized I am somebody.”-- Jane Wagner

24 Diffusion of Responsibility Seizure study (Latane & Darley, 1968) Procedure:  SS put in individual booths and told they would discuss personal problems via speaker system.  During the discussion, a confederate suffers a seizure over intercom. Manipulation (IV):  SS led to believe they were: Alone In 3-person group In 6-person group DVs: % who help and mean time to help

25 Darley and Latané (1968) - the "seizure" study Percentage of Participants Who Attempted to Help Victim

26 Darley and Latané (1968) - the "seizure" study Numbers of Seconds Passing before Participants Attempted to Help Victim

27 Diffusion of Responsibility The Smoke-Filled Room (Latane & Darley, 1970) SS showed up for an experiment and were asked to fill out a set of questionnaires. While filling out these questionnaires, the room began to fill up with smoke. SS were tested in three conditions: 1) Alone in room 2) w/ 2 confederates 3) w/ 2 other "real" subjects DV: % subjects reporting smoke within 6 mins

28 Diffusion of Responsibility Percentage of SS Reporting Smoke

29 Diffusion of Responsibility Chair Study (Gaertner & Dovidio, 1977) Diffusion of responsibility among Whites may be heightened when the victim is Black Chairs fall on a fellow subject (B or W) DV: % who help

30 Results Percentage who help


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