Psychology 1st Topic

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Accordingto Shoesmith (2014), obedience describes the action where oneresponds as directed and it may sometimes involve engaging insomething that one would not prefer to engage in. One of the studiesof obedience has been associated with Milgram (1963). This studycentered on the conflict amid obedience to authority as well aspersonal conscience. The study commenced in 1961 following the trialof Adolf Eichmann. The main intention of the study was to find outwhether Eichmann and other accomplices during the Holocaust couldjustify their actions due to following orders. Also, through hisstudy, Milgram desired to investigate whether individuals could riskanother person’s life in case they were instructed to do so.Milgram conducted his first study at the Yale University (Eysenck,2015).

Inthe study, 40 male volunteers were involved in a controlledobservational study, which they were deceived to think it was a testof learning. A word association test was the learning task and in thestudy the naïve participant was ordered to deliver electric shock toa learner for every incorrect answer. In case the naïve participantdid not want to administer an electric shock, the experimenterinstructed him/her to continue. In delivering the shocks, shocks weredelivered on a scale of 15 – 450 volts where there was an incrementof 15 volts for every wrong response. The participants came to knowthat no shocks were actually being administered, but this was at theend of the experiment (Eysenck, 2015).

Initially,Milgram had hypothesized that the obedience of the Germans in theWWII was an aspect of the German culture. In his study, he was tocompare how Americans and Germans behaved. He came to establish thatAmericans were exceedingly obedient and came to a conclusion thatobedience was part of human nature and not only German nature athing he had not thought initially (Eysenck, 2015).

Inan attempt to understand factors that could determine the extent ofshowing obedience to authority in his 1963 study, Milgram (1974)tried to address the issue through varying his initial experiment.Milgram (1974) argued that situational factors are critical indetermining the extent of obedience. The situational factors heidentified were the uniform of the experimenter, location of thestudy and proximity of the participant to the learner.

Milgram’sstudy was unethical. This emanates from the reasoning that he totallyfailed to inform the participants the real reason for engaging in thestudy. This implies that he did not obtain informed consent from theparticipants. Also, his study was unethical because the participantswere not free to leave the experiment since whenever they tried toleave, the experimenter urged the participants to continue. Inaddition, the study was unethical because Milgram did not screen hisparticipants before the experiment to ensure that they were preparedpsychologically to handle the pressures of the experiment (Hill&amp Hill, 2001).

Otherobedience studies such as Hofling (1966) and Bickman (1974) wereimportant in building the idea of obedience. Hofling (1966) studyproduced more realistic results compared to that of Milgram becausefield studies involving nurses were carried out without theirknowledge that they were engaged in an experiment (Flanagan,2005).Hofling (1966) study was even made more realistic by the Rank &ampJacobson (1977) study that used valium. Blind obedience can beavoided by people doing what is ethical.


Eysenck,M. (2015). AQAPsychology: AS and A-level Year 1.New York: Psychology Press.

Flanagan,C. (2005). Researchmethods for AQA `A` Psychology.Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Hill,G., &amp Hill, G. (2001). ALevel psychology through diagrams.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shoesmith,G. (2014). Psychology:A new complete GCSE course: for AQA specification 4180.Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press.


Accordingto Sternberg (2004), intelligence may be defined as the behavioralconsequence of the entire neural-information processing ability inrepresentative adults of a species, adjusted for the capacity ofcontrolling functions of the body (Sternberg, 2004). Spearman (1927)came up with two factor theory, where he indicated that allintellectual operations involve single common factor “g” as wellas specific factor “s” for every performance (Hasija, 1993). Indeveloping his theory, Spearman divided learners into two groups andoffered tests to them in different subjects then he calculatedcorrelation in every two subjects. He noticed that the correlationwas always positive because all the tests had something in common.This was due to general ability. Apart from the general ability, heargued that every work required specific ability. Spearman indicatedthat two types of abilities exist general and specific (Hasija,1993). All abilities comprise of two parts one part comprises of “g”factor while the other comprise the “s” factor. It washypothesized by Spearman that “g” is usually a function ofheredity while “s” characterizes the acquisitions of specificlearning as well as experience. The “g” factor concernsdifferences in mental capacities in individuals this factor emergesas the biggest, most general source of differences amid people andbetween certain subpopulations. According to Spearman, “g” is themain construct that can be used in understanding average differencesamid groups such as race and sex in occupational and educationalattainment (Hasija, 1993).

Basedon the Spearman’s theory, Binet (1905) developed a scale thatmeasured intelligence as a single construct. The 1905 Binet-Scalecomprised an individual intelligence test having 30 items that werepresented in an increasing order of difficulty (Goldstein et al.,2015). Also, Terman (1906) developed a measurement of intelligenceand suggested that intellectual power varies continuously in a linearmanner, which indicates that smart and stupid individuals may not beso much difference. Through the works of Binet and Terman, the 1916Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale became developed. This scaleoffered the application of the IQ concept (Kaplan &amp Saccuzzo,2013). The Spearman’s theory has also been supported by Wechsler(1939), where he pointed out that the Spearman’s theory and itsproofs are a great discovery in psychology (Kaplan &amp Saccuzzo,2013). Through his support for Spearman’s theory, Wechslerdeveloped the Bellevue Intelligence Tests and the WechslerIntelligence Scale for Children (WISC). The massive gains on Wechslerand Stanford-Binet intelligence tests led to the Flynn effect, whichtranslated to massive IQ gains over time. Cattell (1963) introducedculture-free tests in the assessment of intelligence and argued thatintelligence could be categorized into fluid and crystallized mentalabilities. The fluid abilities are nonverbal and engaged inadaptation and learning abilities while the crystallized abilitiesbecome developed are based on cultural assimilation.

Thurston(1938) argued contrary to Spearman’s theory of consideringintelligence as a single construct and indicated that intelligenceneeds to be conceptualized as a multidimensional model, whereintelligence comprise of independent factors. The Thurston’smulti-factor theory was an extension of the Spearman’s theory(Goldstein et al., 2015). Alternatively, Sternberg (1977) and Gardner(1983) did studies on inductive reasoning. Their studies led to thedevelopment of meta-components concept. One of the recentintelligence theories is the Guilford’s model nevertheless, thefactor analysis of this model cannot leave the Spearman’s theorybehind since Spearman’s theory is the root source of the analysis(Weiner, 2003). This is because Spearman introduced the two-factortheory, which was later developed into a multi-factor theory.


Goldstein,S., Naglieri, J. A., &amp Princiotta, D. (2015). Handbookof intelligence: Evolutionary theory, historical perspective, andcurrent concepts.New York : Springer.

Hasija,S. (1993). Personality,Stress and Problem Solving.New Delhi: Northern Book Centre.

Kaplan,R. M., &amp Saccuzzo, D. P. (2013). Psychologicaltesting: Principles, applications, &amp issues.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Sternberg,R. J. (2004). Handbookof intelligence.Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Weiner,I. B. (2003). Handbookof psychology: 10.Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.


McKenna(2000) defines personality as the mental, physical, social, and moralqualities of an individual. These qualities of an individual areusually dynamic and integrated and can be observed by otherindividuals in daily life (McKenna, 2000). Various psychologists havetried to define as well as measure personality and it has emergedthat personality is a complex issue, but through the variouspsychologists, the issue of personality has been made easy tocomprehend. In this report, Allport (1936) and personality typeoffered by Adorno (1950) will be compared and contrasted.

Allportviewed personality as an organized entity which is future-orientedand not just a collection of habits and fixations. Allport arguedthat one’s self has the ability of making choices and can influencethe development of its own personality as well as the adjustment tothe introduction of new motivational systems. He stressed on amulti-faceted methodological approach towards the study ofpersonality, which combined the idiographic as well as nomotheticviewpoints. Allport’s theory of personality is usually referred toas trait theory where traits occupy the position of majormotivational aspects. Allport &amp Odbert (1936) study group traitsinto three groups, which include cardinal, central, and secondary(Roeckelein, 1998).

Adornoet al. (1950) carried out a comprehensive study on personality basedon the dynamics of anti-Semitism. They argued that racism andprejudice resulted from a certain personality syndrome that they cameto label as ‘authoritarian personality’ (Roeckelein, 1998).Adorno and colleagues argued that the authoritarian personalitysyndrome has nine traits that include authoritarian submission,conventionalism, anti-intraception, authoritarian aggression, powerand toughness, superstition and stereotypy, projectivity,destructiveness and cynicism, and sex. Adorno et al. (1950) positedthat the syndrome predisposes an individual to racial prejudice(Roeckelein, 1998).

Oneof the differences between Adorno et al.’s and Allport views isthat for Allport, the inadequacy, fearfulness, and anxiety of theauthoritarian were at the center of his prejudice, while in the caseof Adorno et al. displaced hostility and aggression were at the core(Posner, 2010). Also, Allport hypothesized that individuals arenormally bad and the social world is a dangerous as well as athreatening place, and this entails a vital component of theauthoritarian syndrome however, Adorno et al. never hypothesizedsuch a thing (Ratele &amp Duncan, 2003). Another difference betweenthe two personality approaches concerns the social factors. In thecase of Allport, social factors initiated prejudice and aggression,but social factors were ignored by Adorno et al. Moreover, Allport’sauthoritarian traits stressed a direct expression of authoritarian’sanxiety, fearfulness, and inadequacy, but this was not the case forAdorno et al.

Therewere different similarities amid the two approaches. One of thesimilarities is that their concept was similar the concept ofprejudice. Both theories had ideas that had been expressed earlier bytheorists such as Maslow, and Reich. Also, another similarity betweenthe two is that they described authoritarian personality that wascharacterized by ego weakness and basic insecurity. Furthermore, theconclusion reached by the two was similar since they indicated thatracial prejudice was a product of psychological maladjustment (Ratele&amp Duncan, 2003).

Accordingto Posner (2010), current research indicates that the conception thatan authoritarian personality is a product of maladjustment hasdiminished although the personality may be formed when parentsbecome overprotective. From Posner, both theories have dwindled intheir conclusion. Further, Dovidio et al. (2005) indicate that the Fscale used to measure authoritarian personality collapsed in the1960s, which indicates that both theories have dropped in theirinfluence.


Dovidio,J. F., Glick, P. S., Rudman, L. A., &amp Wiley InterScience. (2005).Onthe nature of prejudice: Fifty years after Allport.Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

McKenna,F.E. (2000). BusinessPsychology and Organisational Behaviour: A Student`s Handbook.London: Psychology Press.

Posner,A.R. (2010). HowJudges Think.Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Ratele,K., &amp Duncan, N. (2003). Socialpsychology: Identities and relationships.Cape Town: JUTA.

Roeckelein,J. E. (1998). Dictionaryof theories, laws, and concepts in psychology.Westport, Conn: Greenwood.

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