American psychologist Stanley Milgram’s study of obedience provided a horrific glimpse into the darker potentials of social pressure on the human conscience. Milgram’s work explicated myriad historical occurrences, most notably the Holocaust, based on social apathy and unbridled power wielded by authority figures.
Milgram begins his essay by describing what obedience is and how deeply ingrained of a behavior tendency that it is. He then sets up an experiment at Yale University that will push the limits of human obedience. He has a “teacher” give out a series of simple word pairs for the “learner”.
Milgram Obedience, Morality and the Scientific Process in Milgram During the period between 1963 and 1974, social psychologist, professor and theorist Stanley Milgram published a landmark series of findings regarding the nature of morality, authority and obedience.
The role of social influence processes in social change.. Other points worth making in an essay on ethics of Milgram.. Asch and Milgram have shown that social support in the form of allies can significantly increase independent behaviour.
Milgram's findings from his variations support a situational explanation of obedience. The proximity of experimenter, teacher and learner, the location of the study, and the presence of a uniform are all factors within the situation that influence obedience.
The Asch Conformity Experiments, conducted by psychologist Solomon Asch in the 1950s, demonstrated the power of conformity in groups and showed that even simple objective facts cannot withstand the distorting pressure of group influence.
AQA A LEVEL Psychology topic companion: Social influence Page 5 Individual differences may play a role in explaining social influence, which means that the processes will not affect everyone’s behaviour in the same way. For example, Perrin and Spencer (1980).
This supports consistency as an important element for social influence to occur from minority groups and how it may influence the majority to bring about social changes on a wider scale. A criticism in this study and its findings is all the participants were female and results gained from just one gender may not translate to understanding how social change occurs due to gender bias.