Some recent and classic papers

This site provides access to several papers by Dr. Brannigan and co-authors. The top section includes some recent papers. Some classic papers are identified at the bottom of the page. A full list of publications and presentations can be found in Dr B's CV. Recent books have been added at the bottom of the page.

Credibility and Incredulity in Milgram's obedience study

A re-analysis of an unpublished test by Milgram's research assistant. This became one of the 10 most downloaded publications from Social Psychology Quarterly when it went online in August 2019.

Perry, Brannigan, Wanner and Stam 2020

A report card on Milgram's Obedience study 50 years later

This is based on archival work by Dr. Gina Perry

Report Card 2013

The Archival Turn in Contemporary Social Psychology

This reports re-analyses of classic experiments based on the archival records of how they were conducted.

Archival Reports 2020

Controlling the Crimes of the Powerful

This chapter illustrates the difficulties of making dictators and war criminals liable to individual accountability under international law.

Prosecuting War Crimes

Conflict between Public Health Science and Markets

This chapter is an analysis of how the scientific estimation of risk to the public, workers and the environment can be undermined by market forces. 

Illustrations from tobacco and carbon dioxide 2020

Social Psychology in the Age of Retraction

This is a summary of "The Replication Crisis" (Chapter 10) from The Use and Misuse of the Experimental Model in Social Psychology (Routledge 2021)

Retraction Watch Coverage of Replication Crisis in Social Psychology

Classic Papers


For the rest of us. A classic encyclopedia entry.

Postmodernism 2000

The "Real" Hawthorne Effect

Professors Brannigan and Zwerman offer a novel re-interpretation for the enormous attraction of the alleged change in productivity recorded in the classic Hawthorne studies.

The Real Hawthorne Effect 2001

The Reification of Mendel

My first article in the new field of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge was a critical re-evaluation of the early history of genetics.

Brannigan on Mendel

Multiple Discoveries in Science

This was another fruitful collaboration between Professors Brannigan and Wanner on an intriguing issue in the history of science - multiple discoveries. Our view was that good communication tended to prevent their occurrence. We demonstrated this through what appears to have been the first negative binomial distribution in sociology.

The Communication Theory

Research on Genocide

How are collective crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity understood in contemporary criminology? An attempt to answer this question was undertaken with field work tens years after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This book examined the responses to genocide found in criminal courts, both national and international, as well as responses based on compensation and truth and reconciliation processes.

Criminology and Genocide: Beyond the Banality of Evil

Experimental Social Psychology in the Classic Period

In the 1950s and 1960s social psychology made a strategic move in terms of methodology: it adopted the experiment as the key approach to unpacking the complexities of social life. The result was a period of dramatic studies -- Sherif, Milgram, Zimbardo -- which employed deception of human subjects and often exposed them to trauma. In retrospect the results were foregone conclusions and failed to stand the test of time.

The Use and Misuse of the Experimental Method in Social Psychology