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  • Created by: Catherine
  • Created on: 19-05-14 10:38
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  • Milgram- "Obedience to Authority"
    • Aim:To investigate how far a participant will go when this contravenes their own moral code
    • The sample consisted of 40 males aged 20-50 from New Haven obtained through adverts in newspapers and direct mailing
    • It is a controlled observation due to the lack of an IV
    • In one room there is an electric chair to which the leaner is strapped to. In a seperate room is a realistic looking "shock generator" with 30 switches and lights which increase in 15 volt increments from 15V  to 450V. These were accompanied by descriptive terms such as "slight shock", "moderate shock" and "DANGER ***"
    • The naive participant is introduced to "Mr Wallace", a confederate, and told this is an experiment on the effect of punishment on learning and that the task is for the teacher to teach the learner a series of word pairs. Both the participant and confederate are given a sample shock of 45v and the learner states that he has a mild heart condition . They are that they are painful but would cause no "permament damage". They then draw lots to see who will take the role but it is rigged amd the real partcipants is always the teacher. The learner is strapped into the electric chair with lubricating gel applied beneath the conductive pads to prevent burning
      • The teacher is taken to the adjoining room and sat before the "shock generator". He reads a series of word pairs and tests the learner's memory of these. If the learner gets an answer wrong then the teacher delivers a shock with each successive wrong answer the teacher must deliver a stronger shock. If the teachers tries to disobey then the experimenter issues a series of "prods" which increases authoritativeness from "please continue" to " you have no other choice, you must go on"
        • The leaner is heard to make various protests including banging on the wall. No further noise is heard after 300v. The experiment ends when either the teacher disobeyed or gave the maximum of 450v three times
    • There are both quantative and qualitative results. The first participant disobeyed at 315V, meaning that 40 out of 40 of participants gave shocks of 300 volts. 65% of participants went all the way.
      • If a participant goes up the 390v he would go all the way
        • hThe partcipants showed extreme signs of stress; sweating, shaking, nervous laughter and even having seizures. Also when they questioned the experimenter they made it clear that they were not happy with tthey were doing.
    • That people are willing to obey they believe have legitimate authority. The participants in this study believed of the legtimacy of the study due the prestige of Yale Univerisity and the supposed worthiness of the research they were undertaking
    • Evaluation; breaks ethical guidelines. Participants were decieved and milgarm broke the ethical guideline of deception
      • It lacks ecological validilty as you would never be asked to administer resl electic shocks to a stranger in real life


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