Psychology- Bocchiaro


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  • Bocchiaro- Aim
  • Bocchiaro- Method
  • 96 undergraduate students
  • 138 different different participants
  • 11 removed from the 160 ppts - due to suspiciousness
  • Bocchiaro- Procedure
  • Lance
  • Lillie
  • Hello... Please provide a few names of your fellow students.
  • 1.Benefits... 2. Risks... 3. Right to withdraw... 4. Confidentiality...
  • To investigate the rates of obedience, disobedience and whistle blowing in a situation where no physical violence was involved but where it was quite clear that the instructions were ethically wrong.
  • Bocchiaro- Procedure
  • Experimenter + an Italian colleague were investigating the effects sensory deprivation on brain function...
  • Pilot Studies-92 undergraduates students Experimental group-149 undergraduate students took part in exchange for either €7 (course credit). 11 removed from 160-suspiciousness. Comparison Group-138 different pps- How they believed they would respond in experimental situation. (provided detailed description).
  • Bocchiaro- Procedure
  • 7 minutes later...
  • 1. Sign second consent form 2. Refrain from discussing study with colleagues + friends 3. Read debrief form
  • 1-Participants informed about task (benefits/risks/right to withdraw/confidentiality) 2-Each participant greeted in lab by a male (formally dressed/stern demeanour) experimenter requested for each participant to provide few names of fellow students.
  • Bocchiaro- Results +Conclusions
  • Obedient Disobedient Whistle- Blower
  • 'What would you do?' 3.6% 31.9% 64.5%
  • 'What would the average student at your university do?' 18.8% 43.9% 37.3%
  • 3-Experimenter presented the cover story. 4-Participants moved to a 2nd room-computer(writer their statement)-Told to be enthusiastic + had to use 2 adjectives. 5-Participants would find a mailbox+ a research committee form. 6-If participant believed research was ethically wrong-anonymously challenge it by putting a form in a mailbox.
  • 'Great', 'Superb'
  • Research committee form
  • 'Exciting,' 'Incredible'
  • Research committee form
  • 7-After 7min interval experimenter returned+ invited ppts back to 1st room + administered 2 personality inventories, probed for suspicion + asked for them to sign 2nd consent form. (40mins) 8-Current ppts were requested to refrain from discussing study with colleagues + friends- asked to provide written informed consent for use of their data. 9-Given a written debriefing form-outlined all the details + an email address in case they wanted to complain.
  • Debrief form
  • Consent form (2)
  • Debrief form
  • Consent form (2)
  • Please sign the second consent form.
  • Behaving in a moral manner is challenging for people, people tend to obey authority figures, even if unjust. The gap between 'predicted results' and 'actual results' reflected general belief that most people think we are special, above average + guided by moral principles. The study suggested that defiant ppts all seemed to precede by making the same comparison between external demands and internalised moral standards. Behavioural acts of both disobedience and whistleblowing are psychologically, socially and economically demanding for people, notably whistleblowing.
  • A disobedient participant stated, 'I would be very mad and disappointed in myself if I would cooperate, because it is unethical and goes against my principles.' A whistle-blower stated, 'I did not want to have the harmful consequences weighing on my conscience, so I felt obliged to do this.'
  • No significant differences were food in an of the groups (obedient, disobedient or whistle-blower relation to gender, religious affiliation or religious involvement. However, a significant difference was observed with regard to faith.
  • Obedient Disobedient Whistle- Blower
  • Actual Results 76.5% (n=114) 14.1% (n=21) 9.4% (n=14)
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