|Philip Zimbardo – Stanford Prison Experiment (Conformity/SIT)
||Prove that situational factors can affect behaviour.
- 22 male subjects were selected through personality assessment based on their mental stability, maturity and social ability.
- Randomly assigned the role of either prisoner or warden.
- Signed a consent document that some of their human rights will be suspended for the experiment and that all subjects would receive $15 a day up to 2 weeks.
- "Arrested" by surprise by real police from their house, taken to a real police station for standard procedures.
- Driven blindfolded to a prison (set, not a real prison) where they were stripped naked, delouse, and dressed in prisoner uniform.
- Stayed in the prison for 24 hours a day, followed a schedule of work, rest and meal.
- Put on warden costumes with the correct props. They worked 8 hours a day, and were given no specific instructions.
- Asked to keep a reasonable degree of order and were prohibited against any means of physical violence.
- Experiment was terminated in 6 days, instead of the intended 14 days due to abnormal reactions shown by both prisoners and wardens.
- Displayed passivity and dependence. Half the prisoners showed signs of depression, crying, fits of rage, acute anxiety.
- Due to this reason, they were released early.
- All but two prisoners would forfeit the money if they could be released early.
- Experimenters proposed that these behaviours were results of the loss of personal identity, dependency and learned helplessness.
- Displayed huge enjoyment of power at their disposal, leading towards abusive use of power, dehumanizing the prisoners.
- Some wardens worked extra time with no extra pay and were disappointed that the experiment was over.
- They punished the prisoners for no apparent justifications (abusive use of power).
- Not all wardens displayed aggression, but none opposed other’s use of it.
- The situation (prison environment) affected all participant’s behaviour.
- Arguable that the environment of a prison is what causes prisoners to act violently.
- Supports SIT
- Displayed the categorisation and development of identity in both groups.
- Ecological validity: Low, lab environment, overt observation.
- Prohibition of physical violence limited the generalising ability of the experiment.
- Experimenters argue that…
- The functional equivalent of the prison system (setting, costumes etc.) were implemented.
- Reactions and behaviours of the subjects exceeded the level of “role play”.
- Calling each other by ID number in private, wardens showed aggression even when they thought they were not being watched.
- Reliability: Experiment was not repeated until years after, subjects did not act as predicted.
- Culture bias: only studied subjects from the US.
- Ethical considerations and issues.
- Participants signed consent forms, but they had no clear idea of the procedure of the experiment.
- Induced aggression in subjects.
- Created discrimination and violence.
- Gender bias: only male subjects were used.
|Solomon Asch – Asch’s Paradigm Experiment (Conformity)
||Investigate the existence of conformity.
- Subject was placed into a room with 6 confederates and the experimenter.
- Subject was deceived that the 6 confederates were participants just like them.
- The subject was placed on the second last seat so they will be the second last to give an answer.
- The group of subject and confederates were asked to select the line on the second card that matched the line on the first card.
- There were 18 sets of cards in total, some of which had lines that were completely different in length, others are similar in length.
- Confederates were instructed to answer correctly on some of the cards but answer incorrectly for most.
- 75% conformed at least once to the wrong answer
- 32% conformed to more than half of the wrong answers
- 24% did not conform at all
- Conformity happened
- Those who did not conform sparked further research
- Ecological validity: Low, lab conditions.
- Controlled environment removed confounding variables.
- Meaningless stimuli.
- Gender bias, only male participants were used.
- Culture bias, only population of the US were used.
- Cannot be generalised to all population.
- Ethics: Deception, but subjects were debriefed.