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AP Psychology.  What is obedience?  Who do we obey?  Why do we obey?  What would you do if a person of authority asked you do something illegal? 

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Presentation on theme: "AP Psychology.  What is obedience?  Who do we obey?  Why do we obey?  What would you do if a person of authority asked you do something illegal? "— Presentation transcript:

1 AP Psychology

2  What is obedience?  Who do we obey?  Why do we obey?  What would you do if a person of authority asked you do something illegal?  Inhuman?  Evil?  Against every moral fiber of your being?

3 What was happening in the world during the above mentioned years? Why did this happen?

4  Stanley Milgram, a recent graduate of Harvard, is hired as an Assistant Professor of Psychology  He begins to wonder why millions of people were killed by the Nazis.  He decides to create an experiment and it becomes one of the most famous psychological experiments ever.

5  Obedience is as basic an element in the social structure of life. If we are to live together, there must be some form of authority.  Millions of Jews were slaughtered. But why?  Could it be something as simple as I was told to by an authority figure?  As we are raised we hear: Do as your told? Obey your elders? Listen to your teachers? Imagine being in a military where there is a chain of command and severe discipline if rules and orders aren’t followed.

6  People will do as they are told if that person is perceived as an authority figure.

7 Milgram decided to test a naïve subject (teacher) and whether they would administer an electric shock to a victim. The device didn’t really send electric shocks, but the subject didn’t know that. The learner (confederate – in on the experiment) goes along with the experiment as if they know nothing. They are told this is an experiment to see if electric shock improves memory.

8  Three individuals were involved: the one running the experiment, the subject of the experiment (a volunteer), and a confederate pretending to be a volunteer.confederate  These three persons fill three distinct roles: the Experimenter (an authoritative role), the Teacher (a role intended to obey the orders of the Experimenter), and the Learner (the recipient of stimulus from the Teacher).  The subject and the actor both drew slips of paper to determine their roles, but unknown to the subject, both slips said "teacher". The actor would always claim to have drawn the slip that read "learner", thus guaranteeing that the subject would always be the "teacher".

9  At this point, the "teacher" and "learner" were separated into different rooms where they could communicate through a speaker but not see each other.

10  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.electric shock  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.

11  With each shock to the learner, the voltage increases in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer.volt  If correct, the teacher would read the next word pair.

12  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.

13  If at any time the subject indicated his desire to halt the experiment, he was given a succession of verbal prods by the experimenter, in this order: [1] [1] 1. Please continue. 2. The experiment requires that you continue. 3. It is absolutely essential that you continue. 4. You have no other choice, you must go on.  If the subject still wished to stop after all four successive verbal prods, the experiment was halted. Otherwise, it was halted after the subject had given the maximum 450-volt shock three times in succession

14  The experimenter also gave special prods if the teacher made specific comments.  If the teacher asked whether the learner might suffer permanent physical harm, the experimenter replied, "Although the shocks may be painful, there is no permanent tissue damage, so please go on."  If the teacher said that the learner clearly wants to stop, the experimenter replied, "Whether the learner likes it or not, you must go on until he has learned all the word pairs correctly, so please go on."

15  Milgram placed an ad in the locale New Haven, CT newspaper

16 OccupationsAges 20-29Ages 30-39Ages 40-50% of Total (Occupations) Workers, Skilled and unskilled Sales, business, and white- collar Professional % of total (age) 2040

17  Educational levels ranged from: Not finishing elementary school to Doctoral and other Professional Degrees  All were paid $4.50 for their participation (just for showing up – they weren’t told they had to complete the experiment to be paid)  The experiment took place at Yale University.  The role of experimenter was played by a 31 year old high school biology teacher. He wore a gray lab coat.  The Learner was played by a 47 year old Irish American accountant who was mild manner and likable

18  The primary dependent measure is the maximum shock administered before any form of refusal.  This could be 0 for a subject who refuses to administer any shock to 30 for a subject who administers the maximum shock (450-volts).  Any subject who starts administering shocks but stops before reaching the end, is measured to their last shock administered.  Any subject who stops prior to the 13 th shock is deemed defiant.  A subject who administers all shocks is deemed obedient.

19  14 senior psychology majors at Yale – 0-3% would be obedient  Colleagues of Stanley Milgram gave a same answer as the psychology majors (few if any would administer the highest level of shock)

20  When asked how painful was the last shock – participants answered (on a scale of 1-14) on average  Tension – signs of tension were present during the experiment, especially during the higher level shocks.

21  Sweat  Trembles  Stutters  biting lip  Groans  Fidgeting with finger nails – digging into skin  14 people began to laugh (not because they thought it was funny or enjoyment)  Seizures (one so severe that the experiment had to stop)

22 Verbal Designation and Voltage indicationVoltsNumber of subjects for whom this was the maximum shock Slight Shock Moderate Shock Strong Shock Very Strong Shock Intense Shock Extreme Intensity Shock Danger: Severe Shock XXX

23 1. Subjects know that it goes against our moral fiber to hurt someone, yet, 26 subjects abandoned their morals and administered the maximum level of shock because they followed instructions from a perceived authority who had no special power to enforce the commands. 2. The tension generated by the experiment. Even though most subjects showed extreme mental and physical anguish, they still continued to carry out the orders of the experimenter.

24 It could be: 1. The experiment took place at Yale – an esteemed institution of higher learning. 2. Experiment seems to be a worthy cause. 3. The victim is a willing participant. 4. Because the subject volunteered, there is a snese of obligation. 5. Being paid increases sense of obligation. 6. Roles were selected by chance. 7. This is conducted in a controlled environment. 8. Assurance and reassurance of no harm to learner. 9. By answering questions, learner shows willingness to “play the game”. 10. Subject faces conflict of two demands – the experiment to continue and the learner to stop. Who holds more weight? 11. There is little time to reflect on the experiment. “Go on.”


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