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The Social Approach - Psychology Core Study.

Milgram (1963 ) - Obedience. Piliavin (1969 ) - Bystander Behavior. Reicher + Haslam (2006 ) - Social Roles.
by

Jessica Bryon

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of The Social Approach - Psychology Core Study.

The study background is based on a hypothesis made by; Erving Goffman (1959). He suggested that; Our behavior is structured by the social roles of which we occupy. ' We Are What We Play '. He also suggested that our sense of self and identity is shaped by demands of the situation we are in.

In (1973) Zimbardo's psychology study in Stanford Prison was an attempt to show that; The Power Of The Situation And Social Roles On Our Behavior.

To demonstrate this Zimbardo built a mock prison in the basement of Stanford university. Randomly recruited 21 male volunteers and randomly allocated them to the roles of either prisoner or guard. On the 6th day the experiment was terminated because the prisoners couldn't cope and the behavior of the guards became even more tyrannical.

Zimbardo concluded that;
Both prisoner and guards identified with/conformed to their allocated social roles.
The acceptance to these roles led to Tyranny as the guards used their power subjectively over the prisoners. Yet the prisoners developed/learned to become helpless as they felt no choice but to endure the abuse.

He gained the hypothesis that; A situation can have a powerful influence over a person and make them behave in a uncharacteristic way.

HOWEVER!.
Because this result was an artificial environment the results couldn't be well generalized.
As well as some ethics problems (Protection from harm).
There is a huge problem with Observer Bias. As Zimbardo ran the prison himself. Also he later admitted to becoming to personally involved in the situation.
And not all men performed to these hypothesis's.. Many gained individual differences and didn't establish into any groups and fit into their assigned role.

Riecher and Haslam wanted to investigate Zimbaro's study.

They believed that individual group members have more influence on group dynamics and do not simply act out roles they are assigned. This lead to an investigation to investigate the behaviors of groups that are not equal in; Resources, Power and Status. As well as the conditions under which people do or don't allocate with social roles. Reicher + Haslam
(2006) Aims:
If People accept roles
If those with power exercise it without restraint
If those without power accept their situation without complaint. IV ( Independent Variable ) :

The permeability of roles (Day 6) - Where the roles where now unchangeable. Ie. Prisoner to guard promotion was now gone.
Legitimacy Of Roles ( This never occurred due to the guards never bonded as a group ). - On day 6 the prisoners would of been told there was no difference between the guards and them.
Cognitive Alternatives ( Day 7 ) - Where the participants felt they could change the situation. Introduction of Trades Union. = Gives suggestions on shared equality. DV (Dependent Variables):
Social - Social identification within group, Awareness of alternative plans of action, Right-Wing Authoritarianism.
Organizational - Compliance of Rules.
Clinical - Self-Efficacy (Belief in our ability to bring own ability to bring out change). Depression + Stress hormones.

These variables where measured in a variety of different ways;
Video + Audio Recording.
Daily Psychometric Tests.
Daily swabs of saliva to measure stress hormones. Ethics :
Participants backgrounds were all screened. Informed Consent.
Monitored throughout clinically - POH.
Guards where there to intervene. - RTW.
The experiment was monitored by a 5 person ethics committee. 332 Male Participants where randomly
selected by Advertisements.
These then went through 3 phases:
Psychometric; Social variables ie. Attitude and personality traits.
Clinical; Depression, Anxiety, aggressiveness.
Medical and police records.
After these where conducted they were left with 27 men.
After further tests. 15 men where chosen based on;
Age, Class and Ethnicity.
They were then matched into 3 groups of 5 due
to personality traits. One of these groups where
randomly allocated the roles of guards. Phase 1:
Social (Guards) : The guards did not develop
up identity as they couldn't agree on common
norms. Eg. Power/Inequality.
Social (Prisoners) : First 3 days the prisoners failed to identify as a group. The behavior was caused by self individual interest .
Permeability Of Roles: After day 3, The prisoners developed group identity and challenged the guards. This lead to a shift of power and a collapse in the system.
Clinical: After day 3, Psychometric testes reveled that prisoners levels of self efficacy increased and depression decreased. This was opposite for the guards.
Cognitive: Evening of Day 6; Prisoners rebelled which caused a collapse in the prison system. With the introduction of the new prisoner (Trade Union) on the 5th day. Realized the cognitive alternatives and created a plan
to overthrow the commune and
regime. Phase 2:
All continued as a commune. They performed their work tasks and chores with more effort and to a higher study.
Later simply failed to contribute to collective tasks and begin to violate communal rules.
Commune members had never developed procedures for dealing with rebellion therefore couldn't respond to threats.
Day 8; Participants of the commune regime plotted to gain more equality via authoritarian management. Eg. Dark glasses and black berets.
At this point experimenters decided the study was at a gridlock and the system wasn't working. Introducing a new system would be classed as extremely unethical. It was terminated at lunch time on day 8.

All participants stayed for a further day to be debriefed. Over the course of the study, Psychometric tests revealed that both prisoners and guards showed an increase of right wing authoritarianism and where actually in support of a strong and structured regime as opposed to an equality based commune.

Right Wing Authoritarianism - Social order that stimulates a strict response to set rules and norms, Whist demonstrating hostility and punishment towards people who don't obey to them. Controlled Observation! Flexible Roles Artificial Situation: Results cant
be Generalized!
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