Module 3, Chapter 6 – Discussion 5 Topic


Chapter 6: The film “Rape at McDonalds” (video link available at the end) usually draws a lot of antipathy and anger against the manager of the restaurant. My students often ask, why did she allow her employee to get abused, especially by her … fiancé! In your discussion group for this chapter, I want you to 1). DEFEND the manager’s actions using the information you now know about conformity and obedience. I know that is tough to do, but use some of the social psychology concepts you learned in this chapter to give an explanation for her behavior. At the same time, I want you to 2). talk about how she could have and should have handled the situation. 3). Finally, in your comments, make sure to define and highlight the role of informational versus normative social influences as well as the concept of obedience to authority. In your follow-up comment, feel free to agree or disagree with one of your group mates. Did that student do an adequate job of actually defending the manager?

NOTE: There are actually two versions of this rape at McDonalds video – a long version and a short version. You can find both in the videos folder in the modules page OR there are links to both videos on the final slide in the powerpoint presentation. I am only requiring you to watch the short version, but I HIGHLY recommend you watch the long version as well, since it provides a lot more detail about this crime and better fleshes out the story. I actually like this longer version better myself, because you get to really know the parties involved. In this longer version, you get to find out who did the crime, how many times, and how they finally caught him (and what happened to him and the other players in this very disturbing event). Finally, there was a movie based on this event called “Compliance” that came out in the Fall of 2012. I have yet to see that movie, but if any of you have then please feel free to draw insights from the film as well.

So, what happened to Donna Summers, Louise, and the supposed “copy cop” after the Rape at McDonalds. Here is some follow-up information!

1. Louise Ogborn sued McDonalds for $200 million and was awarded $6.1 million.

2. Donna Jean Summers was fired and pled guilty to wrongful imprisonment and given 1-year probation. Of course here is another unbelievable fact: Donna Jean Summers also sued McDonalds for $50 million, and she was awarded $1 million by the jury!

3. Walter Nix was arrested and convicted for his part in this crime and other related crimes.

4. David Stewart, a prison guard in Panama City, Florida detailed in the long video version, was arrested but later acquitted of being the culprit in this crime……

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