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1. Reicher and Haslam The BBC prison study 2. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Aims </li></ul><ul><li>To study the…
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  • 1. Reicher and Haslam The BBC prison study
  • 2. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Aims </li></ul><ul><li>To study the interactions between groups of unequal power </li></ul><ul><li>To analyse conditions that result in group identity and challenge </li></ul><ul><li>To examine the roles of organisational, social and clinical (mood) factors in group behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>To develop ethical guidelines for such studies </li></ul>
  • 3. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>Dominant group members will identify with their group </li></ul><ul><li>Subordinate group members will only identify with their group and challenge authority if the groups are impermeable and illegitimate </li></ul>
  • 4. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stanford prison experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social identity theory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SPE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A study by zimbardo that established a situational explanation for prison roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social identity theory (Tajfel) in an unequal society group members look for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permeability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legitimacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive alternatives </li></ul></ul>
  • 5. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer sample of 332 males through national press </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced to 15 through screening </li></ul><ul><li>Divided into groups of 3 based on personality </li></ul><ul><li>1 from each 3 then randomly selected to be a guard </li></ul>
  • 6. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>IVs </li></ul><ul><li>Planned interventions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. permeability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. legitimacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. cognitive alternatives </li></ul></ul>
  • 7. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Mock Prison set up with full camera coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Inequality introduced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guards had more freedom, better food, could smoke when they liked, could punish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prisoners were locked up, had poor food and no right to smoke, could be punished by solitary or bread and water </li></ul></ul>
  • 8. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Measurements of the DV </li></ul><ul><li>Social variables.. Social identification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measured by self report and observation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organisational variables.. Rule following </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measured by observation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clinical variables.. Stress and depression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measured by saliva tests and self reports </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>The planned interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Permeability and legitimacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Told that the “right prisoner could become a guard” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legitimacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 days in they were told that the groups had been allocated randomly and no further changes would be made </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cognitive alternatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Day 4 prisonner 10 introduced… with new ideas and skills </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Results (Phase 1) “Rejecting inequality” </li></ul><ul><li>Social identification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The guards identified strongly after day 1 but this fell thereafter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The prisoners identified poorly at first but by day 2 had exceeded the guards continung to a high on day 5 </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Intergroup relations </li></ul><ul><li>Low identity amongst guards led to poor leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Prisoners saw them as illegitimate (legitimacy intervention was not needed really) </li></ul><ul><li>Prisoner 10 joined on day 5 and cognitive alternatives, already occurring, increased. </li></ul>
  • 12. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Results of other measures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to comply with authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to engage in citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both dropped on day 5 when the prisonners began to work against the reigeme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Self efficacy (belief in your own ability) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This increased with prisoner unity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This decreased for prisoners over first 5 days but went up for guards </li></ul></ul>
  • 13. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Results (Phase 2 “Embracing inequality”) </li></ul><ul><li>Once the prisoners rebelled on day 6 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They negotiated a commune with the experimenters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two prisoners would not obey the commune rules- causing a crisis within 24 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new harsher authoritarian regime was proposed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The study was ended for ethical reasons </li></ul></ul>
  • 14. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>Critiques: </li></ul><ul><li>Role of TV </li></ul><ul><li>Role of personality </li></ul><ul><li>The reality of inequality and power </li></ul><ul><li>Did the interventions work? </li></ul>
  • 15. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study <ul><li>The Social Identity explanation of tyranny </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour is not always dominated by context (see tom quarry) </li></ul><ul><li>The consequences of social identification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social, clinical and organisational </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reactions to group failure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure of guards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure of commune </li></ul></ul>
  • 16. Reicher and Haslam: the BBC prison study: Conclusions <ul><li>Support SPE that group behaviour cannot be understood by looking at individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Contradicts the traditional view that group processes are toxic, leading to mindless anti-social behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Breakdown of groups creates the conditions for tyranny </li></ul><ul><li>In the SPE tyranny flourished when the prisonners were told they could not leave. </li></ul><ul><li>It is possible to run ethical field studies into social processes </li></ul>
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