SOCIAL APPROACH
EVALUATION & EXAM
Core Study 1: Milgram (1963)
Behavioural Study of Obedience
Reflecting on the study...
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The research suggests that obedience is influenced
by the social environment we are in, could there
be another way to explain obedience? (HINT:
Personality, gender, genetic factors)
Milgram study is a cross between a controlled
observation and a laboratory experiment. What
do you think is good about using this technique?
Milgram used forty male participants aged
between 20-50 years old. Is this a representative
sample? Explain your response.
Evaluation Questions
1.
2.
3.
4.
What did Milgram conclude? Why did participants obey?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the method used in relation to
the study?
Identify the sampling technique? Was it representative?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the data gathered in relation
to this study?
5.
Was the study ecologically valid?
6.
What ethical issues were raised by the study?
7.
Was the study useful? Can it be applied to everyday life?
8.
Comment on the reliability of the study
9.
Comment on the validity of the study
10.
Describe one change that you would make to this study and explain how
you think this might affect the outcome?
1. What did Milgram conclude?
1. Why did participants obey?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the method used
in relation to the study?
3. Identify the sampling technique? Was it representative?
4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the data gathered
in relation to this study?
5. Was the study ecologically valid?
6. What ethical issues were raised by the study?
7. Was the study useful? Can it be applied to everyday life?
8. Comment on the reliability of the study
9. Comment on the validity of the study
10. Describe one change that you would make to this study and
explain how you think this might affect the outcome?
ADDITIONAL POINTS
Dispositional Vs Situational
•Nature Nurture
•Ethnocentricism
•
Dispositional Vs Situational
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Dispositional hypothesis: The idea that a person’s
characteristics determine their behaviour e.g. personality
traits.
Situational hypothesis: The idea that conditions in a
situation determine behaviour e.g. orders from an
authority figure.
In this study Milgram believed that the situation the person
was in determined their behaviour (being in a prestigious
university, being with an authority figure etc).
Nature-Nurture
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The study suggests that our behaviour is explained by
‘nurture’ rather than ‘nature.’
This is because the presence of an authority figure,
the location affected the participants behaviour.
This suggests that our situation/environment affects
our behaviour rather than our biology/genes.
Ethnocentricism
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Study is based on Western culture and assumes everyone will be
the same – though generalisations should not be made.
This can lead to ethnocentrism (biased towards certain group).
However, the levels of obedience for the American sample were
so high that it was not necessary to test any other nationality;
therefore the sample was deliberately ethnocentric.
Other psychologists have tested subjects from many cultures and
found that people generally obey figures of authority regardless
of culture.
Exam Style
Questions
Exam Help
Some top tips....
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Know the research method and sample
Know the procedure in relation to the teacher, learner,
experimenter?
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Know the key findings
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Know at least three explanations for Milgram’s findings
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Be able to suggest at least one way in which the study could be
improved, and possible implication of the suggestion(s) for
methodology, ethics, reliability, validity, usefulness, practicality
and so on.
Exam Help
Issues to be considered...
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Strength/Weaknesses of conducting research under controlled
conditions
Strength/Weaknesses of a snapshot study
Strength/Weaknesses of observations and self-reports as a way of
gathering data
Strength/Weaknesses Q&Q data
Strength/Weaknesses of the sample
Reliability
Validity including ecological validity
Ethics
Section A: Practice Questions
1.
Identify two features of the sample (2)
2.
Outline one limitation of the sample (2)
3.
Describe how the sample was gathered (4)
4.
Identify two ways in which the participants were deceived (4)
5.
Explain the benefits of deception as used in this study (2)
6.
7.
Outline one way in which this study may be considered high ecological
validity (2)
Outline one way in which this study may be considered low ecological validity
(2)
8.
Describe why this study can be considered a controlled observations (4)
9.
Describe one piece of quantitative data gathered in the this study (2)
10.
Describe one piece of qualitative data gathered in the this study (2)
Section A: Exam Questions
1. January 2009
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Describe how the sample used. (2)
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Outline one limitation of this sample. (2)
2. June 2009
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Describe how the sample was obtained. (2)
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Outline one disadvantage of the way this sample was obtained. (2)
3. January 2010
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Describe how obedience was measures. (2)
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Suggest one problem with measuring obedience in this way. (2)
Section A: Exam Questions
4. June 2010
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Identify two findings from this study. (2)
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Outline one explanation Milgram gave for his findings. (2)
5. January 2011
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Outline two features of the Milgram study of obedience which made it seem real to the participants.
(4)
6. June 2011
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Outline two ways in which Milgram’s study of obedience can be said to low in ecological validity. (4)
7. January 2012
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Milgram, in his study of obedience, offered several suggestions for why participants obeyed.
Describe two of these suggestions. (4)
Section A: Exam Questions
8. June 2012
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Outline two qualitative findings from this study. (4)
9. June 2013: Explain why many participants displayed signs of severe stress and emotional
strain. (4)
10. January 2013
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Identify two results from the above table. (2)
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Outline one conclusion that could be drawn from the above table of results. (2)
11. June 2014:
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From Milgram’s study of obedience:
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Describe two ways in which participants in this study were deceived. (4)
Section B: Practice Questions
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
Describe why this study was conducted (4)
With reference to this study, describe one strength
and one weakness of quantitative data (6)
With reference to this study, describe one strength
and one weakness of qualitative data (6)
Describe how obedience was measured in this study
(6)
Outline three key findings of this study (3)
Describe ways in which this study could be improved
(8)
Section B: Exam Questions
12. January 2009:
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Briefly outline the previous research or event which was the stimulus
for your chosen study. (2)
Describe how the sample was chosen study was selected and suggest
one advantage of this sample. (6)
Explain why your chosen study can be considered a laboratory
experiment. (6)
Give one advantage and one disadvantages of conducting your
chosen study in a laboratory. (6)
Suggest how your chosen study could be improved. (8)
Outline the implications of the improvements you have suggested in
your chosen study. (8)
Section B: Exam Questions
13. January 2012
a.
Outline the aim of your chosen study? (2)
b.
Describe the sample used in your chosen study and suggest
one advantage of using this sample. (6)
c.
Describe how observation was used in your chosen study.
(6)
d.
Suggest one strength and one weakness of using
observation in your chosen study. (6)
e.
Outline the findings of your chosen study. (6)
f.
Identify and evaluate two possible changes to your chosen
study. (8)