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PSYB01H3 (581)
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Chapter 3

chapter 3

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Anna Nagy

Chapter 3Milgrams Obedience experimentStanley Milgram conducted a series of experiments 1663 64 65 to study the phenomenon of obedience to an authority figurehe placed an ad for 450participants reported to Milgrams lab at Yale where they meet the scientistthe other participantMrWallacea confederateaccomplice of the experimenter One person is the teacher who would administer the punishment and the other would be the learner Mr Wallace and the volunteer participant then draw slips of paper to determine who would be the teacher and learnerthe confederate is always the learner and has electrodes attachedthe shock machine has a series of levers that would deliver shocks to the confederatethe first lever was labelled 15volt shock the second a 30volt etceach time a mistake was made the learner will receive a greater shockNote the confederate will not actually receive a shock once they reached 120 volts the confederate began to scream in pain and eventually yelled that he wanted out What if the teacher wanted to quitthe participants were visibly upset by the pain faced by MrWallacethey were told they could quit but were urged to continue going on using a series of verbal prods that stressed the importance of continuing the experiment the study was to be an experiment on memory and learningbut in actuality was to see whether participants would continue to obey the experimenter by administering even higher levels of shock to the learnerwhat happened 65 continued to deliver the shocks all the way to 45 voltsstudy received a lot of publicity results have implications for understanding obedience in reallife situations such as the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and the Jonestown mass suicide The Belmont Reportcurrent ethical guidelines for both behavioural and medical researchers have their origins in the Belmont Report Ethical Principles and Guidelines for Protection of Human Subjects of Researchthis report defined the principles and applications that have guided more detailed regulations and the American Psychological Association Ethics CodeThe three basic ethical principles are BENIFICENCE RESPECT FOR PERSONS autonomyJUSTICEAssessment of Risks and benefitsbeneficence refers to the need for research to maximize benefits and minimizevany possible harmful effects of participationin decisions about ethics of research we must calculate potential risks and benefits that are likely to result this is called a riskbenefit analysis ethical principles require asking whether the research procedures have minimized risk to participantsthe potential risks to the participants include psychological or physical harm and loss of confidentiality In addition the cost of not conducting the study if in fact the proposed procedure is the only way to collect potentially valuable data can be consideredBenefits include direct benefits to the participantseducational benefit acquisition of a new skill or treatment for a psychological or medical problem material benefitsmonetary gifts possibility of winning a prize in a raffle other less tangible benefits include the satisfaction gained thru being part of a scientific investigation and the potential beneficial applications of research findings eg the knowledge gained thru the research mite improve future educational practicesA RISKS in PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH ex Milgrams studythe risk of experiencing stress and psychological harm the effect of delivering intense shocks to an obviously unwilling learnerin Milgrams study participants were protesting sweating and even laughing nervously Is subjecting ppl to such a stressful experiment justified Did the experience leave any longrange consequences1 Physical Harm procedures that should conceivably cause some physical harm to participants are rare but possible exmedical procedures administering a drug such as alcohol or caffeine or depriving ppl of sleep for an extended period of timethere would need to be clear benefits of the research that would out weight the potential risks2 Stress more common that physical stress is psychological stressex participants might be told that they will receive some extremely intense electric shocksthey never actually receive the shock it is fear or anxiety during the waiting period that is the variable of interest research by Schachter employed a procedure like this showed that the anxiety produced a desire to affiliate with others during the waiting periodresearchers interested in selfesteem have typically given a subject a bogus test of personality or abilitya test is followed by an evaluation that lowers selfsteem by indicating that the participant has an unfavourable personality or ability score asking ppl about traumautic or unpleasant events in their livesthus experiments that ask ppl to think about the deaths of a parent spouse or friend or their memories of living thru a disaster cud trigger a stressful rxn when stress is possible one must ask if all safeguards have ben taken to help participants deal with the stressusually there is a debriefing session following the study that is designed in part to address any potential problems that may occur during the research 3Loss of Privacy and Confidentiality researchers must take care to protect the privacy of individuals researchers must take care to protect the privacy of individuals a minimum protect privacy by keeping all data locked in a secure placeconfidentiality becomes imp When studying topics such as sexual behaviour divorce family violence or drug abuse may need to ask sensitive issues about private livesresponses to such question should remain confidentialin most case are probably completely anonymous to ensure no1 can connect any persons identity with dataSIN name phone number will not be included personal interview where identity may be known researcher must plan ways of coding data storing data and explaining the procedures to participants some research need to identify individual participantsoccurs when individuals are studied on multiple occasions over time or when personal feedback such as test score must be giventhe researcher shud develop a way to identify the individuals but separate the info about their identity from the actual dataso if questionnaires or computerized data were to be seen it cannot b linked to a specific individual some cases risks entailed with loss of confidentiality are so great that researchers may wish to apply for a Certificate of Confidentiality from the USthis is appropriate when the data could be the target of a legal subpoena concealed observation of behaviourmake observations of behaviour in public placesobserving people in shopping malls or in their cars does not seem to present any major ethical issuesbut what about in more private settings or in ways that may violate individuals privacy ex rummaging thru their trash watching ppl in public restrooms Study Middlemist KnowlesMatter measured the time to onset of urination and the duration of urination in males in restrooms of collegepurpose study the effect of personal space on a measure of physiological arousal urination timesstudents were observed awhile alone or with a confederate of the experimenter who stood at the next stall or a more distant stall in the restroomresult presencecloseness of the confederate did have the effect of delaying urination and shortening the duration of urination was the invasion of privacy justified They can argue that thru pilot studies and discussions with potential participants they figured that ethical problems with the study were minimalMiddlemist et al Employed a
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