what about disobedience? Who are the people that disobey or blow the whistle? Do they have specific personal characteristics that make them behave differently?
We need students that want to participate in our study, can you help us? Even if I'm a little worried, these experiments hadn't gone very well so far.
After Milgram's study about obedience, Bocchiaro with his study wanted to investigate disobedience and how people deal with an unethical and unjust request; if people prefer refuse to follow orders (disobey) or report wrongdoing to higher authorities (whistle-blowing)
What should I do? Write the statement? Fill in the Research Committee form? Maybe the experiment is not that bad...
Tha sampling method Bocchiaro used was a self-selected (by popsting flyers in the university cafeteria). A total of 149 University undergraduates from UV University of Amsterdam took part (96 women and 53 men)
The study took place in a laboratory at the University of Amsterdam. The participants were asked to name some of their friends who they think would like to take part to a study about the effects of sensory deprivation on brain function. The participants were asked then to write a positive statement to convince them. They were also told to omit that this experiment had been considered traumatic and frightening.
- Morally acceptable _ Debriefing - Pilot tests - Comparison students - Participants both men and women (representative sample) - Standardised procedure and conditions for every participant - Both qualitative and quatitative data - Believable procedure - high ecological validity
- Self-selected sample= unique characteristics, participants with same interest and spirit - Participants under stressful situation - Deception (participants were lied about their role in the study and its real aim) - Sample size maybe too little
The participants were also asked if they could help convince the Research Committee that the experiment was ethical so they will approve it. Then the participants were left alone. According to the participants' behaviour the researchers considered three main groups: who obeyed (wrote the statement), disobeyed (didn't write the statement) or blew the whistle (filled in the etichs form).
Before the actual study, a group of students were asked what they would do and what the average student at university would do in that kind of situation. Their predictions were far more different than the 'real' results.
"WHAT WOULD YOU DO?": obey 3.6%; disobey 31.9%; blow w. 64,5% "WHAT WOULD THE AVERAGE DO?": obey 18.8%; disobey 43.9%; blow w. 37.3% BOCCHIARO'S RESULTS: obey 76.5%; disobey 14.1%; blow w. 9.4%
"What would you do?"
"What would the average university student do?"
The results from this study show that obedience is the most common behaviour to authority, even if it's unjust. The study also shows that people are really bad at estimating their own and others behaviours and that we usually understimate our vulnerability to social pressure. The results show that specific personal characteristics or different personalities are no reasons why participants disobey or whistle-blow.