Milgram - Responses to people in authority

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  • Milgram - Responses to people in authority
    • Research Method
      • Aim: to investigate the process of obedience by testing how far an individual will go in obeying an authority figure
      • Lab experiment/ controlled observation
      • Took place at Yale university
        • Same Procedure
        • Standardised responses
    • Participants
      • 40 males
      • aged 20-50
      • obtained through a newspaper advert
      • Were paid $4.50 just for turning up
    • Materials
      • Shock Generator
      • Tape Recorder
    • Procedure
      • 1. Data gathered through observations by experimenter and someone behind a one-way mirror
      • 2.Participant always given role of teacher through fixed lottery and an actor was the learner
      • 3. Actor strapped to a chair, participant given a trial shock of 40 volts
      • 4. Participant sat in a different room and tested the actor, gave a shock for every wrong answer
      • 5. Shocks voltage increased with each wrong answer, ranged from 15 to 450 V
      • 7. The actor would start to bang the wall when it reached 300 V and pleaded to stop
      • 8. If the participant asked for help the they wer given prompts by the experimenter such as "please continue"
      • 6. Study finished when the participant refused to carry on (disobedient) or reached 450 volts (obedient)
    • Results & Conclusion
      • All participants went to 300V
        • 65% continued to the full 450V
        • 26 obedient, 14 disobedient
      • Showed extreme signs of stress e.g. sweating, stuttering
        • When study finished many sighed in relief or shook heads in regret
      • Inhumane acts can be done by ordinary people based on certain situational features
        • Individual differences such as personality influence the extent at which people obey
  • KEY THEME: responses to people in authority

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