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Unformatted text preview: Module 14: How Nice People Get Corrupted • Conformity – A change in behavior or belief to accord with others. • Asch’s Studies of Conformity – Those in a control condition who answered alone were correct more than 99 percent of the time. Although some people never conformed, three-quarters did so at least once. • Results are startling because they involved no obvious pressure to conform- there were no rewards or punishments. People are that conforming in response to minimal pressure. • Milgram’s experiments tested what happens when the demands of authority clash with the demands of conscience. • When Milgram conducted the experiment with 40 men- 26 of them (65 percent) progressed all the way to 450 volts. Even though people predicted that none were expected to go beyond 300 volts. • What Breeds Obedience?- Emotional Distance of the Victim: Milgram’s participants acted with greatest obedience and least compassion when the “learners” could not be seen (and could not see them). In everyday life, too, it is easiest to abuse someone who is distant or depersonalized. People can act most compassionately toward those are personalized.- Closeness and Legitimacy of the Authority: The physical presence of experimenter also affected obedience. When the one making the command is physically close, compliance increases. The authority, however, must be perceived as legitimate for people to obey commands. Example “Rectal Ear Achee” - Institutional Authority: If the prestige of the authority is that important, then perhaps the intuitional prestige can be important. - The Liberating Effects of Group Influence – Conformity can also be constructive. The occasional liberating effect of conformity. Ex: Milgram captured this liberating effect of conformity by placing the teacher with two confederates who were to help conduct the procedure. During the experiment, both confederates disagreed to conduct the experiment. Both left and the experimenter asked you to continue alone, but you said no. He therefore conformed. • Both the experiments revealed that how compliance can take precedence over moral sense. The succeeded in pressuring people to go against their own conscious. Obedience is explicitly commanded. • These experiments vividly revealed how attitudes fail to determine behavior when external influenced override inner convictions. The foot-in-the-door phenomenon applies to the experiments because the shocks gradually increased in short intervals, instead of shocking the participant at 350 volts in the beginning. They were in a different psychological state from of someone beginning the experiment at and the end. External behavior and internal disposition can feed each other....
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- Summer '10
- Sociology, Minority group, Interpersonal attraction, Social Facilitation