Milgram's study of Obedience

  • Created by: mayono1
  • Created on: 26-02-19 10:45
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  • Milgram's Research into Obedience
    • Procedure
      • 40 male participants through adverts and flyers in the post. 'Looking for people to be in a study about memory.'
      • They were offered $4.50 to participate. They got to the lab and there was a learner (confed) and they were the teacher.
      • The experimenter was in the corner in a lab coat, played by an actor. Participants were told they could leave at any time.
      • The teacher was required to give the learner electric shocks from a different room if they got the wrong answer on the task.
      • The shocks weren't real and started at 15 volts to 450 volts. After 315-volt shock the learner would pound the wall but not respond.
      • If the teacher turned to the experimenter for guidance they would say 'an absence of response is a wrong answer'.
      • If the teacher didn't want to continue they would be given one of 4 prods: 'please continue', 'the experiment requires that you continue', 'it's essential', 'you have no choice'.
    • Findings
      • No participant stopped below 300 volts. 65% continued to 450 volts.
      • Qualitative data collected showed that they showed signs of extreme stress: biting their nails, digging into their skin and sweating.
      • Prior to the study, 14 psychology students predicted that no more than 3% would continue to 450 volts.
      • All participants were debriefed and assured that their behaviour was normal. In a follow-up questionnaire, 84% said they were glad to have taken part.
    • Evaluation
      • Low internal validity - Orne & Holland (1968): participants guessed the shocks weren't real. Perry's (2013) research confirms this. But Milgram reported that 70% thought they were real.
      • Good external validity - Hofling (1966) studied nurses in a hosp. and found that obedience to doctors was very high. Milgram's study can be generalised.
      • Supporting replication - a documentary on French TV in 2012 replicated the study and found that 80% gave the max shock and behaviour was similar to that of Milgram's findings.


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