Talk:Hofling hospital experiment

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Move article[edit]

This article isn't really a biography at all, but about the particular experiment. I suggest moving the article. From what I can find, there's no standard term for this experiment. I'd suggest: Hofling hospital experiment, Hofling nurse experiment, or Hofling obedience experiment. I like Hofling hospital experiment best since that was really the context of the experiment. Cretog8 (talk) 22:38, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

The criticism section has the following paragraph: "Although there are many other factors that would have contributed to the nurse's decision. In 1966 there probably weren't any procedures for nurses to check on a doctor or to check the decision of a doctor and in most hospitals nurses were thought as as the second-rung profession below doctors, so there was not a culture of challenging doctor's decisions. Furthermore the experiment made the doctor's orders sound very important: a rare drug, high dosage, and seemingly so important that the doctor had to phone in, as though he couldn't get to the hospital quick enough. The decision of the nurses came not just out of an appreciation for the authority and status of the doctor, but also stems from the institutional culture and decision-making procedures in that particular hospital."

Without sourcing this to someone, it reads as speculation, so I've taken it out for now. CRETOG8(t/c) 21:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd restore the gist of these observations, if rewritten with the caveat of "There may have been various other factors" rather than "there were many." The reason is that these suggested factors are at least consistent with common sense, and taking them into account suggests a way to prevent something similar happening in the future.

Why did the one nurse refuse?[edit]

I notice that most of the discussion is about the 21 nurses who did obey, but there is no mention of the reasons that the one nurse who refused to administer the drug refused. I had a search and couldn't find anything. It would be good to track down the original article and to add this piece of information. jimjams101 12:38, 04 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.253.52.159 (talk)

Significance[edit]

This experiment is every bit as significant as the Milgram experiment, which is far better known to the public. One disturbing element here is that Milgram's subjects knew they were in an experiment of some kind (the exact kind was disguised), so may have been more likely to assume that the experimenter might safely be obeyed, or at least that they had obligated themselves to obey. In Hofling's experiment, the subjects were faced with a real-life situation requiring solely the use of their own judgment.