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Psych 1F90 Kathy Belicki
Lecture 3 Conformity vs. Obedience
Recap from last week:
Normative vs Informational
others aect behaviour
Ex. your mom likes/
does something so you
don't likes/ does
Others thoughts cause doubt within
yourself and cause you to change your
thoughts, even if you are right, you
conform to their ideas
Bottom-lines of "Why Conform?"…
We want to be liked, respected
We want to be right
Back to Ashe (1956) What kind of conformity is this?
Informational? Normative? You need to know if thought is changed.
oIf they know it is correct and the wrong answer anyways, then it would
oIf they genuinely think the same answer everyone else said is right,
then informational because the thought has changed
Obedience: Milgram (1963)
Background to study:
Studied under Ashe
Believed there were cultural dierences in conformity
oSome cultures conform more than others
Conformity and obedience: was it about obedience or conformity of German
people that caused the holocaust, and people to stand by as atrocities
happened all around them?
Method of study:
Deception was often used in the past for psychological studies, but is now
considered unethical, and not often practiced
Setting: a waiting room with you and one other person
You assume they are a participant, but they are a collaborator with the
You are told this is a study about learning
oOne person the teacher and one the learner
Electric shock therapy is to be done on the learning
oIt is a shock of 45 volts, but you are told it is 15 (test shock
administered to the teacher so they "know what it will feel like"
While being hooked up the learner claims he has a heart condition
He is behind black glass so you can't see him
The goal is for the learner to learn paired words, the teacher will say the pair,
then say one of the pair and the learner tries to respond with the correct paired
word. He is administered an electric shock from the teacher if he is wrong.