Assignment: The Abiline Paradox

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Assignment: The Abiline Paradox

Assignment: The Abiline Paradox

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The Abiline Paradox:  The Management of Agreement agreement

Please select one case and post an analysis.

A Pirandellian Prison

Please go to the following weblink:

Zimbardo, P. G., Haney, C., Banks, C., & Jaffe, D. (1973, April 8). A Pirandellian prison: The mind is a formidable jailer. New York Times Magazine,pp. 38-60. 

Your assignment:

1. Briefly describe the problem (or research question),  procedure (participants, methods) and results of the study.

2. Do you see any potential problems with this study, ie., methodological issues, ethical concerns, etc.?

3. Do you agree with the authors’ conclusions?  Are there other factors we should consider?

4. In your opinion, could this study be repeated today and with the same results?  Why or why not?

5. From what you know of social psychology or other pertinent psychology courses you have taken, why might this study have been important?

Asch and Conformity

Please go to this study.

Your assignment:

1. Briefly describe the problem (or research question), the hypothesis, procedure (participants, methods) and results of the study.

2. Do you see any potential problems with this study, ie., methodological issues, ethical concerns, etc.?

3. Do you agree with the authors’ conclusions? Are there other factors we should consider?

4. In your opinion, could this study be repeated today and with the same results? Why or why not?

5. From what you know of social psychology or other pertinent psychology courses you have taken, why might this study have been important?

The Abiline Paradox:  The Management of Agreement

Whereas, most of us are familiar with the Bystander Effect and Zimbardo’s Prison Study, this study is very different for those of us who might not have had any courses in organizational psychology.  As you will see many of the concepts we have learned early on in introductory psychology, social psychology and other courses come into play in this case.  See what you think.

Please click on the following link and enter your last name and ID number.

Harvey, J. B. (1974). The Abilene Paradox: The management of agreement.Organizational Dynamics, 3(1), 63 – 80. doi: 10.1016/0090-2616(74)90005-9

Your assignment:

I found the list of objectives for this article on page 66 would be a good starting point for our discussion.  You need not discuss all of these issues in depth, but try to hit the high points of 4 or 5 if you can. I have rephrased these for you below.   Also, please relate some of the concepts you have learned in your other courses whenever you can.

1) What is the Abilene paradox?  Describe some of the the symptoms of organizations caught in the paradox.

2) Tell us about one of the case studies that Harvey (1974) describes on pages 67-69.

3) Harvey discusses 5 factors when analyzing the paradox.  Discuss at least two of these and their importance in the paradox.

4) On page 73, Harvey discusses several terms that describe the risk factors of his model (A Possible Abilene Bypass). Discuss several of these as they relate to his model and to your understanding of these terms in social psychology.

5) How would someone go about diagnosing the paradox?  What suggestions does Harvey make?

6) What are his recommendations for coping with the paradox?

Your thoughts, and comments, please.

Leiby Kletzy’s Abduction and Homicide

Read the case at: 

First, provide a short description of the case.

Then, identify and explain at least 4 social psychological principles at work in this case.

For some ideas, see the worksheets following the case.

Bystander Intervention

Please go to this study. You sill need to enter your last name and ID number and then download the study.

Darley, J. M., & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 8(4), 377-383.

Your assignment:

1. Briefly describe the problem (or research question), the hypothesis, procedure (participants, methods) and results of the study.

2. Do you see any potential problems with this study, ie., methodological issues, ethical concerns, etc.?

3. Do you agree with the authors’ conclusions? Are there other factors we should consider?

4. In your opinion, could this study be repeated today and with the same results? Why or why not?

5. From what you know of social psychology or other pertinent psychology courses you have taken, why might this study have been important?

Darley, J. M., & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 8(4), 377-383. 

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