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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

Stanley Milgram’

Milgram’s Obedience Experiments #2

PART 2 The ‘Obedience’ movie In 1965 Milgram boosted his burgeoning notoriety with the release of ‘Obedience’, a movie documentary of a repeat of the classic study. Below is an edited compilation of clips from the movie – copyright © 1991 Alexandra Milgram.   According to such commentators as Hugh Coolican (1996), most people who see the movie are convinced that the behaviour of the participants in ‘Obedience’ is authentic and that the stress caused by their moral strain is real. However, ‘Obedience’ may not be quite what it appears to be, according to Kathryn Millard (2011). In fact, the raw footage for ‘Obedience’ was shot over a weekend in May 1962, using what Milgram called ‘Condition 25’, a slight variation on the classic study. He used the same actors to play ‘Mr Wallace’ and ‘Jack Williams’ as always and the participants were genuinely naive. The camera filmed through the same 2-way mirror Milgram used to observe proceedings. However, it was 1965 before the completed film was made publicly available. Why did it take Milgram so long to make the movie available? Millard (p660) comments on the finished product: “‘Obedience’ is as much art as science, as much drama as experiment. It… Read More

Milgram’s Obedience Experiments

Relaunched: 27 February 2018 “I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident. Within 20 minutes he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck who was rapidly approaching nervous collapse. He constantly pulled on his earlobe and twisted his hands. At one point he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered, ‘Oh, God, let’s stop it!’ And yet he continued to respond to every word of the experimenter and obeyed to the end.” – Stanley Milgram, 1963 Stanley Milgram’s ‘electric shock’ experiments of the 1960s and 1970s – and the many replications and variations of them throughout the Western world and way beyond – are some of the most audacious, genuinely creative and thought-provoking sociopsychological studies ever undertaken. They provide truly disturbing insights into the human readiness to obey those in authority to the point of carrying out horrific acts of violence, secure in the knowledge that the person is ‘doing the right thing’ and that no unpleasant consequences will follow from carrying out those orders. Yet the experiments are as controversial for validity of their methodologies as their results. The theory the experiments gave birth to, Agentic Shift Theory (aka Agency Theory), despite the strength… Read More

Robber’s Cave

Relaunched: 4 March 2018 The Robber’s Cave study is on a par with Stanley Milgrim’s ‘Obedience Experiments’ and Philip Zimbardo’s infamous prison study at Stanford University (Craig Haney, Curtis Bank & Philip Zimbardo, 1973), both for its sheer audaciousness and what it tells us about situational pressures to produce normative influence. Muzafer Sherif had been a growing force in the development of Social Psychology ever since his ‘autokinetic effect’ experiments in 1935 had developed the concept of conformity that would come to be known as informational influence. In fact, Sherif could be considered one of the founders of Social Psychology. His work was also highly thought of by interactionist sociologists, becoming the first psychologist to receive the Cooley-Mead Award for contributions to Social Psychology from the American Sociological Association. By the end of the 1940s his interest in understanding social processes, particularly social norms and social conflict had led him to conceive of developing a field experiment in which pubescent boys would be nurtured into forming 2 distinctive teams with strong group identities to see how conflict between the 2 groups could be exacerbated and then reduced. This would be the basis of the famous and challenging Robber’s Cave study of 1954 (Muzafer Sherif et al, 1961).… Read More

Attribution Theory

Updated: 17 June 2016 According to Fritz Heider (1958), we produce attributions (beliefs about the causes of behaviour) based on two sources of information… Internal attributions – based on something within the individual whose behaviour is being observed – their natural character External attributions – based on something external to that individual – nothing to do with who they are specifically, it is the situation they are in Internal attributions are often referred to as dispositional attributions while external attributions are called situational attributions. Internal or External Locus of Control? In his development of Attribution Theory, Heider was concerned primarily with how we understand the behaviour of others. The mechanisms for how we attribute the behaviour of others have been explored with varying degrees of success in Correspondent Inference Theory, Covariation Theory and Causal Schemata. However, Julian B Rotter (1966) focused on how people attribute the reasons for their own behaviour. From his research, Rotter concluded that people tend to have either:- internal locus of control – ie: they decide what to do – the root of their behaviour is dispositional external locus of control – ie: their behaviour is shaped by external, situational factors – eg: expectations Rotter found that,… Read More

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A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Ma, Vaunne & Thomas Schoeneman (1997): ‘Individualism versus Collectivism: a Comparison of Kenyan and American Self-Concepts’ in Basic & Applied Social Psychology #19 Maalouf, Elza (2014): ‘Emerge!: the Rise of Functional Democracy and the Future of the Middle East’ (Select Books, New York NY) Mac an Ghaill, Mairtin (1994): ‘The Making of Men: Masculinities, Sexualities and Schooling’ (Open University Press, Milton Keynes) Maccoby, Eleanor  (1980): ‘Social Development: Psychological Growth and the Parent-Child Relationship‘ (Harcourt Brace, New York NY) MacCallum, Fiona & Susan Golombok (2004): ‘Children raised in Fatherless Families from Infancy: a Follow-Up of Children of Lesbian and Single Heterosexual Mothers at Early Adolescence’ in Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry 45/8 MacDonald, Alex & Olly Neville (2013): ‘The EDL Endorsement proves that UKIP’s Faux-libertarian Pretence doesn’t work’ (Liberal Conspiracy) http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/04/06/the-edl-endorsement-proves-that-ukips-faux-libertarian-pretense-doesnt-work/ (Accessed: 22/02/16) MacDonald, Fred (1992): ‘Blacks and White TV: African-Americans in Television since 1948’ (Nelson-Hall, Chicago IL) MacDonald, Helen, Marjorie Beeghly, Wanda Grant-Knight, Marilyn Augustyn, Ryan Woods, Howard Cabral, Ruth Rose-Jacobs, Glenn Saxe & Deborah Frank (2008): ‘Longitudinal Association between Infant Disorganized Attachment and Childhood Posttraumatic… Read More

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A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Eaton, William, Preben Bo Mortensen & Morten Frydenberg (2000): ‘Obstetric Factors, Urbanization and Psychosis’ in Schizophrenia Research 43/2-3 Economist, The (2008): ‘Parrot Diplomacy’ (24 July) Edmonds, David (2015): ‘Can Psychology help solve Long-Running Conflicts?’ (BBC News) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-34670525 (Accessed: 09/11/15) Edwards, Chris (1992): ‘Industrialisation in South Korea’ in Tom Hewitt, Hazel Johnson & Dave Wield (eds): ‘Industrialisation & Development’ (Oxford University Press) Edwards, D A (1968): ‘Mice: fighting by Neonatally Androgenised Females’ in Science 161/1027 Edwards, David & David Cromwell (2006): ‘Guardians of Power: the Myth of the Liberal Press’ (Pluto Press, London) Edwards, Jim, (2016): ‘The Number of People who regret voting for Brexit is now greater than the Margin of Victory for Leave’ (Business Insider UK) http://uk.businessinsider.com/brexit-vote-regret-leave-margin-victory-2016-10 (Accessed: 18/10/16) Egger, David & John Flynn (1963): ‘Effects of of Electrical Stimulation of the Amygdala on Hypothalamically Elicited  Attack Behaviour in Cats’ in Journal of Neurophysiology 26/5 Einstein, Albert & Sigmund Freud (1931-1932): ‘Why War? The Einstein-Freud Correspondence’ (Humboldt State University )http://users.humboldt.edu/jwpowell/FreudEinstein_WhyWar.pdf  (Accessed: 12 October 2010) Eisenberg, Nancy, Randy Lennon & Karlsson Roth (1983): ‘Prosocial Development:… Read More

About This Site…

Relaunched: 1 December 2015  Obviously one key purpose of this site is to tell you about me and how I might be able to help you – see About Me… The other key purpose is to present what I call Integrated SocioPsychology. I coined the term ‘Integrated SocioPsychology’ in 2004 for a comprehensive and cohesive approach I intuited could align and integrate all the different (and all too-often bickering!) disciplines in the behavioural sciences. To make cohesive sense of all the theories, models and interventions in the behavioural sciences and the complimentary ‘hard sciences’ (Biology, Neuroscience), I am using the concepts of the Gravesian approach (vMEMES) – and Clare W Graves’ research on which it is based – to underpin the new science of Memetics and Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels structure and develop the approach I think of as Integrated SocioPsychology. The Dimensions of Temperament construct of Hans J Eysenck serves well to describe individual temperamental dispositions while the framework of 4Q/8L enables multi-context ‘big picture’ views. The concept of Integrated SocioPsychology postulates the complementarity of much in the academic disciplines of Psychology and Sociology and what are often considered alternative fields such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The overarching paradigm of Integrated… Read More

Society & Community

These pages use the models and theories of the Integrated SocioPsychology approach and the behavioural sciences in general for analysing and understanding how we interact and function in societies and communities. They look at those social forces which influence our behaviour, taking into account cultural and cross-cultural factors. More immediately-topical observations can be found in the Blog. There are both miscellaneous features and sections on topics which I believe to be particularly relevant to the functioning of a society…such as business, education and crime & deviance. Critically important is the section on MeshWORKS – the concept developed by Don Beck which facilitates both a longitudinal and a cross-sectional view of related issues for all relevant parties. Those who support the Integrated approach and are interested in such matters are invited to submit pieces for publication here as ‘guest features’ or ‘guest reports’. Please get in touch with your ideas via the Contact page. Underclass: the Excreta of Capitalism Feature exploring the concept that the rise of the Underclass is the inevitable waste product of unfettered Capitalism Islamification: Europe’s Challenge Feature exploring what Islamification might mean for Europe and how the changes it will bring might best be handled Social Change Pages on social… Read More

Abu Ghraib, Auschwitz and Mumbai

It is, of course, decidedly early to pronounce on just who is behind the terrorist attacks in Mumbai; but it is almost certainly radical Islamists of one persuasion or another. One senior Indian military officer has claimed that the attackers came from Pakistan – yet one of the gunmen in the Oberoi Trident Hotel managed to get hooked up to a TV channel and told them he was from the ‘Deccan Mujahedeen’, a (previously-unknown) group of Indian Muslim extremists.  Given the marginally-improved state of the usually-hostile/often-verging-on-war relations between India and Pakistan, one might almost be forgiven for hoping it was an internal Indian operation that could not so easily be a catalyst for open military confrontation between the two nuclear powers. However, in light of the Hindu orgies of violence against Muslim communities which have followed previous Islamist terrorist incidents on Indian soil, thousands upon thousands of civilian deaths might prove equally unpalatable.   Where ever the attackers originated from, few will be surprised if they didn’t have at least tacit assistance from radicals in Pakistan. And few will surprised, given the sophisticated level of organisation in the Mumbai attacks, if the hand of al-Qaeda isn’t to be found somewhere in the pulling of the strings.   What… Read More

Prisoner abuse and the mess in Iraq

So Donald Rumsfeld has not only admitted to Congress that, yes, American soldiers have been doing rather nasty and degrading things to Iraqi detainees but there is, in fact, far worse to come – including videos! (It’s already been confirmed that 2 Iraqis have died in US custody – one with ‘strangulation’ identified as the cause of death on his post-mortem report! – and there will almost certainly be more come to light if allegations of firing on unarmed prisoners from a prison watchtower are accurate.) However, the abuse, according to Rumsfeld, has not been ‘systematic’ but merely the actions of some ‘bad apples’. As his President, George W Bush, points out, there are some 200,000 American troops in Iraq and the vast majority are doing a demanding and highly-dangerous job with bravery and integrity. In the larger scheme of things, the average ‘GI Joe’ in Iraq is probably epitomising Bush’s case on a daily basis. Unfortunately for Bush and Rumsfeld, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have them squarely in their sights. According to the Red Cross, they recorded regular abuses at Baghdad’s Abu Grhaib jail between March and October 2003 – the worst being in the October – and presented the… Read More