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Most Classic Studies In Social And Developmental Psychology Were Conducted At Least 30 Years Ago. Why Are There So Few Modern Classics?

1600 words - 6 pages

Most classic studies in social and developmental psychology were conducted at least
30 years ago. Why are there so few modern classics?
In this essay, I will be explaining why are there so few modern classics. So
what is classic? A classic is when the study has achieved a great impact on its field
and in this case Psychology, examples such as the Asch conformity experiments, the
Milgram experiment, the Stanford prison experiment, Bobo doll, and blue eyed versus
brown eyes students.
Asch's experiment (1951) examined the behaviour under social forces. The
experiment involved the perception of the length of lines. Asch exposed participants
to normative social pressure using a simple, unambiguous task with no doubt about
the correct answer. Participants were shown a pair of cards, one with a standard line
darwn on it, the other illustrating three comparison lines of different lengths.
Participants were then required to choose which of the comparison lines were the
same lengths with the standard line. In each group, there was only one participant, and
the rest were confederates, and that one participant was always late. The confederates
were asked to give the same wrong answer, and to see if the participants would
conform. Results showed that the rate of conformity was 32% and 74% of participants
conformed at least once, but he found through interviews that they went along for
different reasons. To conclude, we go along with the group because what they say
convinces us that they are right, this is call informational conformity, and sometimes
we conform because we are apprehensive that the group will disapprove if we are
deviant, this is call normative conformity. Asch's experiment is a classic, it reveals
how people will deny what they see and submit to group pressure.

The Milgram experiment (1961) is the most controversial experiment in
history. In 1961 social psychologist Stanley Milgram devised a test to see if ordinary
people would give a stranger an electric shock in the name of science. Each trial had a
pair of the "teacher" and the "learner", the "learner" was an actor, so there were only
one true participant. The role of the "teacher" was given to the true participant
through a fixed lottery. The two were then moved into separate rooms and the
"teacher" was given instructions (press the button for electric shock when the
"learner" gets a question incorrect). The shocks voltage increases every time, and the
actor would start desperately screaming. The point of this experiment is to see if the
"teacher" would call a stop to the test or obey the professor and inflict the extremely
painful shocks. 65% of the participants continued with the electric shocks up till the
maximum 450 volts. Milgram's experiment is a classic because it shows the effect of
authority on compliance and obedience, also has had a massive impact on scientific
and public understanding of all forms of "evil" (e.g., tyranny, terrorism, corruption
etc.).
Philip Zimbardo's...

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