Meeus and Raaijmaker (1986) Background Meeus and Raaijmakers were critical of Milgram’s research. They thought parts of it were ambiguous – for example, the participants were told the shocks were not dangerous and yet the shock generator said Danger severe shock XXX They also thought that giving shocks was an old fashioned way of punishing people! Thought participants may not have actually believed they were doing any harm to other person. Their aims…. Were to look at obedience in a more up to date way i.e. in more realistic circumstances They thought psychological violence was more realistic than physical violence They wanted their participants to believe they were doing definite harm to the victim In the second part of the study… They wanted to find out if their two variations would reduce obedience as Milgram’s variations did. - The experimenter absent variation The two disobedient peers variation - Their study was very similar to Milgrams Took place in a modern university in Holland Experimenter: about 30 years, friendly but stern Sample Original experiment: 39 participants aged between 18 and 55 Education: at least high school education Answered a newspaper advertisement Participants were paid $13 BUT - Sample included both men and women Participants believed that the Psychology department had been commissioned to select candidates for a job Each applicant was to take a test, which would be administered by the participants The participants were given the role of ‘interviewer’ and ordered to harass a ‘job applicant’ (actually a confederate) to make him nervous while sitting the test to determine if he would get the job. 39 participants 24 participants in the experimental group 15 participants in the control group You will be the interviewer and your We are researching role will be to harass the relationship the job applicant to between make him nervous psychological stress while he is sitting a test and test to determine whether achievement he gets the job You will have to answer 32 Poor multiple-choice performance on questions which the test will will be read out affect your job to you in four prospects sets The job applicant (confederate of the experimenter) TheThe psychological readings start stressatwill 15 be which measured is normal using and go these up to electrodes 65 which and indicates displayed intense on thisstress panel Remarks Participants were told to make a series of 15 increasingly distressing remarks to the interviewees Ranged from “your answer to question 9 is wrong” (the mildest) to “according to the test it would be better for you to apply for lower functions – this job is too difficult for you” (the harshest) This job is too difficult forto Your answer you. You are question 9 was onlywrong suited for lower functions answer was IMy want to leave. was Inot do wrong not want to carry it? on with this interview Control Group Were given instructions to make remarks but were not told they would need to make all 15 Could choose when to make the negative statements Could stop making them at any time during the test Applicant - Actor The stooges showed signs of increasing distress throughout the interview Two-thirds of the way through the test the ‘interviewee’ accused the researchers of giving false information and withdrew his consent to continue Participants were told to ignore outbursts and continue with remarks Experimenter Prods Remember Milgram’s! Experimenter sat in on interview If the participants refused, they were given a series of four prods similar to those in the Milgram experiment A participant who made all the stress remarks was seen as obedient and those who refused to make all the stress remarks disobedient To sum up….. The applicant was not real! He was an actor! He was not really stressed! The machine was not real – the applicant did not really get stressed and make mistakes – it was all a cunning plan to see how obedient the participant was! What did they find??? Do you think more or less people obeyed in this study compared to Milgram’s??? RESULTS The Dutch participants 20 years later were MORE obedient than Milgram’s were! Milgram found 65% of participants were obedient up to 450 volts. Meeus found 92% of participants were fully obedient and made all 15 harassing remarks. In control condition – NO participants made all 15 remarks They also did variations on the study and they found similar results…………. When the experimenter left the room obedience dropped to 23% in Milgram’s study and 36% In Meeus’ With disobedient peers (two present who refused to say remarks) obedience dropped to 10% in Milgram’s study and 16% In Meeus’ CONCLUSION… People in an everyday situation like a job interview will generally obey orders to abuse a stranger psychologically Rates of obedience were higher than in the Milgram study, as might be expected, as people believed they were upsetting rather than physically hurting someone CONCLUSION… Meeus and Raaijmaker’s provide evidence for agency theory! When the experimenter left the room the participants had to take responsibility for their actions and obedience dropped. When the experimenter was present the participants acted as their agent and most felt it was the experimenter's responsibility not theirs!