Procedures Used in Social Influence Research and Whether They are Ethical

1333 Words 6 Pages
Procedures Used in Social Influence Research and Whether They are Ethical

Psychologists such as Asch, Zimbardo and Milgrim have used various
procedures in social influence research. These procedures can be
ethically questioned in terms of consent, deception, protection of
participants and the right to withdraw.

Asch 1951, 1982, and 1956 designed a straightforward task in which
participants were presented with two cards. One card displayed a
single ‘standard line’ while the other card displayed three
‘comparison lines’. Participants were asked which comparison line was
of equal length to the standard line. In the experimental situation
there was only true participant the rest were all
…show more content…
Therefore because similar situations are bound to take
place outside the experiment, Asch’s study is ecologically valid in
this sense. Asch also used deception in his experiment by using
confederates. These confederates deliberately gave the wrong answer
in order to establish whether a true participant would conform.
However if the true participant was aware that the other members of
his group were confederates then the results would not be correct as
the true participant would be, most probably, answering differently.

Zimbardo in 1973 created an experiment designed to investigate how
readily people would adopt a new role and exercise the power attached
to that role. Zimbardo recruited 25 male students to participate in
a two week study of prison life. They were randomly assigned to the
role of a prisoner or a guard. On arrival the prisoners were stripped
down and given prison smocks with a number attached. From then on
they were referred to by there number only. The guards were given
shirts, trousers, dark glasses and carried wooden batons, whistles and
handcuffs. The guards conformed to their new roles with such passion
that the study had to be called off after six days. Prisoners obeyed
the rules and even when one prisoner begun a hunger strike the others
did exactly what they were told to do.

Zimbardo’s experiment shows the powers…