Bocchiaro et al (2012) - Contemporary Study

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Disobedience towards unjust authority

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  • W e kept our confidentiality and right to withdraw
  • Aim: To investigate the role of dispositional factors in obedience, disobedience and whistleblowing in an unethical situation.
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  • Method: 8 pilot studies carried out on 92 participants to make sure they procedure was ethical. The tests also served to standardise the experimenter- authority behaviour throughout the experimental period.
  • Step one: The participants were informed of what the study was and they had right to withdraw and kept their confidentiality.
  • Step two: Each person was greeted by a stern experimenter in the lab, he proceeded with a request for each participant to provide a few names of fellow students.
  • They were then moved to a room to write their statements. If a participant believed the research on sensory deprivation violation ethical norms then they could challenge it by putting a form in the letterbox. The participants were later debriefed and asked to sign a consent form and they were refrained from any discussion. 
  • Results: Most respondents believed they would either be disobedient or whistle blowers. They thought that other students would be liked themselves. Out of the 14 whistle blowers, 6 percent wrote an anonymous statement. 
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