Essay on How Do Other People Influence Our Behaviour?

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With regard to the above question, I will be evaluating the concepts of conformity and obedience. In relation to this the work of Zimbardo, Haslam and Milgram will enable me to explain a variety of ways in which those around us may influence the way we behave. Conformity is defined as a change in behaviour and/or attitude as a result of group pressure (Hogg & Vaughan, n.d.). In 1971 Phillip G Zimbardo carried out an experiment with the aim of determining the psychological changes of both prisoners and guards. He did this by placing 18 college undergraduates in a simulated prison environment (Prisonexp.org, 2014). The time course for the experiment was 14 days; however, it was ended precipitately after only 6 days as the guards were seen to…show more content…
With regard to the above question, I will be evaluating the concepts of conformity and obedience. In relation to this the work of Zimbardo, Haslam and Milgram will enable me to explain a variety of ways in which those around us may influence the way we behave. Conformity is defined as a change in behaviour and/or attitude as a result of group pressure (Hogg & Vaughan, n.d.). In 1971 Phillip G Zimbardo carried out an experiment with the aim of determining the psychological changes of both prisoners and guards. He did this by placing 18 college undergraduates in a simulated prison environment (Prisonexp.org, 2014). The time course for the experiment was 14 days; however, it was ended precipitately after only 6 days as the guards were seen to abuse the prisoners at night. Christina Maslach also questioned the morality of the study after witnessing the participants chained together with bags over their heads. This forced Zimbardo to re-evaluate the situation as a research psychologist as he himself had conformed to the role of the prisons superintendent (Prisonexp.org, 2014). It was clear throughout the study that all participants had conformed to the role they were given. Prisoners started to believe that they were in a real prison, which ultimately lead to the participants becoming depressed and some of the guards had developed sadistic like qualities due to the amount of power they had over the prisoners (Prisonexp.org, 2014). Deindividuation is said to of played an
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