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    Hey guys

    Just want your opinion on the pos/neg things about his experment.
    I'm coming up with more negatives than positives at the moment.
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    Positive:

    •showed how people behave and the power influence of an authority figure-valuable insights

    •controlled experiment, high internal validity so cause and effect can be established.

    •He debriefed all participants fully and did follow ups to ensure there was no lasting psychological harm.

    Negatives:

    •low external validity, artificial situation, people may not have acted like that in real life so cannot be generalised.

    •Ethical issue-participants were quite clearly distressed with some sweating, stuttering and trembling. Three of the volunteers had uncontrollable seizures.

    •Low population validity, study consisted of only males, we do not know if females would behave in the same way so cannot be generalised to females, thus lowering the validity. However, the males had different levels of education thus Milgrams experiment can be praised for the diversity of volunteers used.

    Here's a couple of websites which will give a few more points:

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/leigh...8/milgram/amp/

    https://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html


    With all your points remember to expand them as much as you can, always apply it to the experiment and link back at the end.
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    What do you mean by high/low internal/external validity?
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    (Original post by uali511)
    Hey guys

    Just want your opinion on the pos/neg things about his experment.
    I'm coming up with more negatives than positives at the moment.
    Milgram was particularly interested as to why Nazi officers blindly obeyed Adolf Hitler despite the horrendous things he was doing - his experiment perhaps shows that when given directions from an authority figure individuals are likely to follow orders even if it is hurting other people.

    This brings up questions surrounding whether 'bad' people truly exist or whether it is just the situation that make 'good' people do bad things.

    A study replicating Milgram's original experiment conducted just this year in Poland, found that 90% of participants were willing to deliver the highest shock - perhaps this shows that Milgram's findings are applicable in different countries and a different environment.
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    (Original post by uali511)
    What do you mean by high/low internal/external validity?
    Internal validity is basically how reliable the experiment is. How much is their behaviour affected by extraneous variable (variables that aren't being tested)

    We use the term ecological validity in my sixth form and it's basically how true is the experiment to a real life situation. Is this how the people would act if this was real life.

    Usually if you have high internal validity you have low ecological validity (the more controlled it is, the less likely it is to be like real life)
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    (Original post by uali511)
    What do you mean by high/low internal/external validity?
    High internal validity-a lot of control over the experiment

    Low external validity-artificial situation so cannot really be generalised to the rest of the population and other situations
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    I chose obedience rather than conformity for my final essay just to evaluate this experiment. He was interested in soldiers and why they blindly followed immoral orders yet used participants who were totally unrepresentative of his interest, not to mention the ethical issues of paying them $4.50 to take part.
    while he did come up with some theories from the experiment, they did not relate to his original intention. Soldiers are conditioned to follow orders unquestioningly and refusal can have serious consequences up to and including execution during war time. His experiment ignored these facts.
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    (Original post by Cubone-r)
    Milgram was particularly interested as to why Nazi officers blindly obeyed Adolf Hitler despite the horrendous things he was doing - his experiment perhaps shows that when given directions from an authority figure individuals are likely to follow orders even if it is hurting other people.

    This brings up questions surrounding whether 'bad' people truly exist or whether it is just the situation that make 'good' people do bad things.

    A study replicating Milgram's original experiment conducted just this year in Poland, found that 90% of participants were willing to deliver the highest shock - perhaps this shows that Milgram's findings are applicable in different countries and a different environment.
    Oh cool! Do you know the name of the experment?
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    (Original post by uali511)
    Oh cool! Do you know the name of the experment?
    Milgram (1963) study of obedience:
    Aim:
    ¬Stanley Milgram was interested in why German soldiers carried out atrocities in WWII and so he devised an experiment which would show him whether participants would carry out instructions even though they knew (or thought they knew) that they would be causing harm to another human being. German soldiers said that they were merely carrying out orders from superiors and Milgram wanted to find out whether or not this was unique to those soldiers.
    Method:
    Milgram advertised for male volunteers to take part in a “learning and memory” experiment. He paid $4.50 to 40 males between the ages of 20 and 50 from the New Haven area and introduced them to another participant who was actually a confederate (an actor placed by Milgram) and they drew straws to decide who would be the teacher and who would be the student. This was fixed so that the confederate was always the learner and the participant was always the teacher. The teacher asked questions and gave a choice of 4 answers (this was supposedly a memory test). Each time the learner got an answer wrong, they were to be electrocuted by the teacher (the participant) which could increase by 15 volts intervals from 15 volts up to 450 volts. The confederate learner had been instructed to act as though they were actually being harmed and even protest at times. Each time a teacher hesitated to give an electric shock, the experimenter (also a confederate) would prompt them up to 4 times telling them that they must continue.
    Results:
    100% (40/40) of participants continued to carry out instructions up to 300 volts.
    65% (26/40) of participants continued to carry out instructions up to 450 volts.
    Conclusion:
    Milgram discovered that participants will obey what they recognise as a perceived authority figure regardless of whether or not they are committing an immoral act upon an innocent person. People are conditioned to obey authority figures by parents from an early age and in a hierarchal society, this continues for most people. Anyone who is seen as a figure of authority will likely be obeyed because they are seen to have authority over an individual or individuals.
    Evaluation:
    Strengths:
    As this was a laboratory experiment within the psychology department, the independent variables and dependant variables were easily controlled and extraneous variables were minimised. The participants were always put in the role of the teacher and the confederate was always the learner.
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    The study was replicable and indeed was replicated many times (18 by Milgram himself) with changing independent variables to challenge further theories. In total Milgram used 636 participants throughout these varied experiments.

    Weaknesses:

    The self-selecting participants was not representative and this may have had a dramatic effect on the results. For example, female participants may have dissented at different times to the all-male sample that was actually used in this experiment.

    There are ethical concerns surrounding this study which denies any further replication due to advances in ethical considerations. Participants were deceived regarding the actual purpose of the experiment and they did show signs of stress (psychological harm) during the experiment due to the nature of what they were being instructed to do (although monitoring showed that there were no long term effects). Milgram argued that they were able to remove themselves from the experiment but they were prompted 4 times before the experiment was stopped after dissenting occurred.

    The ecological validity of this experiment was highly questionable due to it being culturally biased as it was carried out in America (in the 1960s when obedience levels were high) rather than Germany. In addition to this it used volunteers who went through no conditioning unlike soldiers do. The German regime (at the time) involved a lot of propaganda to deliberately incite hatred and prejudice and all soldiers are conditioned to obey orders unquestioningly. They would also have been executed for refusing to obey orders (consequences of disobedience) during the war and none of these factors were considered during Milgrams’ experiment. The mind-set of a German soldier during the war was simply not imitated by Milgrams’ experimental conditions.



    Resisting Social Pressure:

    Milgram (1963) did encounter some dissent during his experiment (35% of participants) but only after they were giving 300 volt shocks to the confederate. Hornsey et al (2003) carried out an experiment using Australian students and they found that those with stronger moral beliefs were more likely to dissent than those with weaker moral beliefs. Kohlberg (1969) believes that this is due to those people reaching post conventional reasoning which means that they will disobey when they strongly feel that they are committing an act which goes against their morals or they can morally justify resisting an instruction.
 
 
 
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