PSYCH 101 PRELIM 1 NOTES
Situational and Social Influences on Critical Thinking
Blind Obedience to Authority
Figures (parents, bosses, etc)
Symbols of Authority (Signs, badges, etc)
arranged a study on “memory and learning” at Yale University.
: a large proportion would be willing to give minimal shocks, but there would
be a quick drop off
a very large proportion with a slight drop off toward the end.
differences in the results across gender, personality, intelligence, socioeconomic status,
Voice feedback condition
– the subjects heard the “learners” pain – psychologically more
difficult to continue.
Prompted with “experiment requires that you continue” and “cannot
stop the experiment once underway”.
Status of authority figure:
When authority figure received shocks, all stop on command
When an argument occured between authority figures, all stop quickly
With unwilling peers, much more inclined to leave room
When an ordinary man replaced authority, all refused.
When he tried to proceed
himself, all tried to stop him.
Taped instruction, less likely to follow orders and then claim otherwise
Authority decides to stop, learner pleads to continue.
Status of institution: a different version conducted at a less prestigious and private setting
Someone else assumed responsibility
Shocks were said not to be harmful
Gradual steps, demand of the machine (buzzed when no shock was given)
Focus of study – on learning
Physical distance: different versions involving remote, voice feedback, visual proximity,
touch proximity, control of a generator powering the switches
No practice in respectful disobedience
Sheridan and King
a more believable situation involving dogs as learners.
males and 100% of females gave the 450 volt shock.
Male experimenters were
subconsciously more demanding and louder with females.
was conducted at 22 wards and involved the obedience of nurses to
Dose was excessive, not allowed over the phone for non pre-approved drugs,
coming from an unfamiliar doctor.
21 out of 22 nurses obeyed orders.
Diffusion of Responsibility
Status of Authority
Fear of Not Obeying