In , the psychiatrist Charles K. Hofling conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship. The aim of this. Hospital Under Beds, Hospital Over Beds, Eldercare or Hospice Facility Home > August – Volume – Issue 2 > AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY IN HOFLING CHARLES K. M.D.; BROTZMAN, EVELINE R.N, M.S.; Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer and Object Relationships in Early Memories: A Pilot Study. In the original Hofling hospital experiment (). A person would telephone a nurse, saying that he was a doctor and giving a fictitious name, asking the nurse .

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August 21, at 2: This shows that if the nurse is emotionally upset then the debrief will inform them about what the procedure actually involved.

However this is the aim of the investigation and it is epxeriment to avoid demand characteristics which could happen if any other methods were used, or if the participants realised that it was an experiment the results may be different.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Smith, who asked them to administer the drug and said that he would write up the paperwork as soon as he got to the hospital. All of us get influenced by society, one such social influence is obedience- act of obeying orders from authority figure.

Informed consent is the understanding that participants must be told by the researcher what the research is all about and then the researcher must ask for their consent to take part.

Smith a stooge phones the nurses at hospital on 22 separate occasions and asks them to check to see if they have the drug astroten. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Hofling found that 21 out of the 22 nurses would have given the patient an overdose of medicine. Despite this, I still think that the cons outweigh the pros as the same result of the study can be achieved if nurses are taken out of the equation and if doctors are studied instead.


It was run 22 times, with the procedure expreiment conditions the same each time.

Hofling hospital experiment – Wikipedia

Also the experiment would not have worked in the same way if the nurses knew that they were being tested. The study revealed the danger to patients that existed because the nurses’ view of professional standards induced them to suppress their good hospiral.

I think the experiment definitely had more advantages then disadvantages, for example, no-one was harmed in the experiment, so the participants were always protected.

This shows that the experiment is quite fair. So overall I think the experiment would be acceptable to repeat in the present day as the participants are put in no real danger and hospitaal eventually aware that it was an experiment. YouTube Videos [show more]. The participants were debriefed at the end of the study and their role in the research was explained to them.

Firstly the experiment did not allow the nurses any informed consent, this means they were wrongly put in an experiment which could cause them stress without agreeing. The Unethical parts include: I would not let someone repeat this experiment today because there are many ethical problems with this investigation.

Hofling – yes or no?

The ethical issues surrounding the experiment all focus on the well being of the nurse. There were also restrictions as to how long the process could last and if hospitql nurses consistently refused to give the medicine or became upset the experiment was immediately stopped, which also protected the participants from becoming too uncomfortable. Therefore, this study should be continued today, but with some changes so that the ethical guidelines are followed and that the subjects are fully informed about what they are agreeing to do.

If at any time the subject indicated his desire to halt the experiment, he was given a succession of verbal prods by the experimenter, in this order, the experiment requires that you continue. hofllng

The nurses did not give consent to be in the experiment, but this was for a reason because if they had known they were part of an experiment the results would not be reliable as they would not act normally. This is one factor which some may say makes the experiment unethical. It may also cause distress to patients within hospital whom are taking certain medicine.


It is all about the psychological effects the test could have on the unsuspecting subjects. The teacher would read the first word of each pair. The label clearly stated that 10 mg was the maximum daily dose. September 1, at 6: The experiment would stop if the nurse became distressed or refused to administer the drug, this would increase the protection of the participant which makes the experiment more ethical, however some would say that it is also unethical for making the nurse distressed in the first place.

These are either not addressed or not fully taken care of. However the participants were debriefed and given full information on what they took part in after the investigation was done. March Learn how and when to remove this template message.

Hofling conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship. Experimeent unethical elements of the experiment are outweighed by the information gained by the study because the data could help understand the actions taken by nurses in hospitals and help to solve any issues which may cause problems and endanger lives in the future.

To summarise, this experiment has been shown to be not ethically sound in its current form.

The main reason for this is that no one was harmed or hugely distressed as a result of the experiment. The confidentiality is also fine as the nurses names are not used and so they are hosspital anonymous.