The Francis Inquiry Re-Interpreted in the Light of Classic Social Psychology Experiments


The Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry goes into some detail when considering the impact of social influences on nursing staff and other NHS employees. Volume 3, in particular, has large sections dedicated to NHS culture and values.

A couple of articles have drawn a connection with classic social psychology experiments into obedience and conformity. This earlier social science research has a bearing on the impact of social influences on the behaviour of health workers and their ability to maintain professional standards in certain cultural environments.

Full Text Link


Kapur, N. (2014). Mid-Staffordshire Hospital and the Francis Report: what does psychology have to offer? The Psychologist: the professional journal of the British Psychological Society, January 2014, Vol 27(10), pp 16-20.

The full original version of this UCL manuscript is also available.

An earlier Nursing Times article touches on these issues:

Full Text Link


Mee, S. (2013). Is workplace culture an excuse for poor care? Nursing Times. April 9-15th 2013; Vol.109(14): pp.14-6.

Milgram: Influential But Not Infallible

On the other hand, Milgram’s classic obedience study has itself come into question in recent critical reviews, and is no longer accepted universally as being a “gold standard” example of impartiality in interpretation or objectivity and good experimental design in social psychological research methodology.

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Gibson, S. (2013). “The last possible resort”: A forgotten prod and the in situ standardization of Stanley Milgram’s voice-feedback condition. History of Psychology. August 2013; 16(3): 177-94.

Full Text Link


Haslam, SA. Reicher, SD. (2012). Contesting the “nature” of conformity: what Milgram and Zimbardo’s studies really show. PLoS Biology. 2012; 10(11): e1001426. [Epub November 20th 2012].

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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