Module Chapter 14 Discussion Assignment
One form of social influence is obedience, which involves “going along with direct commands, usually from someone in a position of authority” (Huffman & Sanderson, 2014, p. 406). The following video clips are replications of Milgrams’ study on obedience and Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment. After viewing, answer the discussion questions.
100 words, substantive, and expand the discussion here is the students response
To most of us we know that obedience means going along with direct commands, usually from someone in position or authority for example; at least most of us in life have obeyed our parents or guardians. I believe that obedience comes from a place of trust and a place of respect. Unless one is self employed most of us have bosses and when told to perform a task at work we immediately do it because of respect right? So in my opinion I think the teachers in Milgram’s study obeyed because was claimed to be an experiment and if I was in their shoes am sure in the back of my head I would think it is not as serious since it was not claimed to be the “actual thing” so my moral guards will be down in the beginning but as I go on with the experiment, it would be natural to question the act but because I signed up for this I would fear to ask to leave the experiment plus if I question milgram and he assured me that it’s okay and I should keep going then I think it would be automatic for me to finish what I started.
The four factors that influence obedience according to Milgram is; Legitimacy and closeness of the authority figure, remoteness of the victim,assignment of responsibility, and modeling or imitation of others.
Similarity in both experiments- participants in both studies had a difficult time ending their participation, and most continued all the way until the end. The reasons for this were similar in both studies. By agreeing to take on the roles they had been assigned, it became very difficult for the participants to back out without breaking the implicit social rule I spoke of earlier.
Difference between both experiments — Another ethical problem in Zimbardo’s study — one avoided by Milgram — was the taking on of a dual role. That is, he was both the “prison superintendent” and the principle researcher of the study. Taking on a dual role made it difficult for him to monitor the progress of the study and its effects on the participants objectively. He stopped the study only reluctantly when it was pointed out to him that the prisoners were suffering terribly. Milgram, on the other hand, was never present during the actual procedure itself, so he was able to remain more objective about any harm being done to his participants. So in my opinion I think Zimbardo’s experiment was more disturbing even though Milgram’s involved electricity. This is because in Milgram’s experiment one was aware of the consequences upfront while zimbardo’s no prisoner knew what would happen to them if they disobeyed the prison guards plus if there were guards who were nice to some prisoners than others then Am sure there was chaos among some prisoners because no one likes unfairness.
· real world psychology by Huffman .   Sanderson
· Baumrind, D. (1964). Some thoughts on ethics of research: After reading Milgram’s “Behavioral Study of Obedience.” American Psychologist, 19, 421-423. doi: 10.1037/h0040128
· Retrieved November 24, 2011, from
· Haney, C., Banks, W. C., & Zimbardo, P. G. (1973). Study of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison. Naval Research Reviews, 9, 1–17. Washington, DC: Office of Naval Research. Retrieved November 25, 2011, from
· Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to authority: An experimental view. New York: Harper & Row Publishing.
· Zimbardo, P. G. (1975). On transforming experimental research into advocacy for social change. In M. Deutsch & H. Hornstein (Eds.), Applying Social Psychology: Implications For Research, Practice, and Training (pp. 33-66). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
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