Variations of Milgrams study

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  • Variations of Milgrams Study, 1974
    • Proximity of the victim
      • In the voice feedback study, the learner was seated in another room away from the teacher. The teacher could hear but not see the learner. Obedience rates were 62.5%.
        • In the proximity study both the teacher and learner were seated in the same room. The obedience rate dropped to 40%.
          • The teacher was now able to experience the learners anguish more directly
        • In an even more extreme variation the teacher was required to force the learners hand onto a shock plate.
          • Obedience rates dropped to 30% although the mean shock level delivered was still 270 volts
    • Proximity of the authority figure
      • In the original study the experimenter sat just a few feet away, giving the participants the feeling that they were being constantly monitored.
      • In the experimenter absent study, after giving instructions, the experimenter left the room and gave subsequent orders over the phone.
        • Only 21% continued to maximum shock level
        • Several participants gave weaker shocks than required and some repeatedly giving the weakest shock level but telling the experimenter they were following the correct procedure
    • Presence of allies
      • In the 'two peers rebel' study, two accomplices and the real participant shared the task of teaching the learner. When the two bogus teachers refused to carry on, almost all the real participants also withdrew their cooperation, with only 10% carrying onto the maximum shock level.
        • Participants used the defiance of their peers as an opportunity to extricate themselves from causing further harm to the victim
    • Increasing the teachers discretion
      • In a further variation the level of shock delivered was left to the participants discretion.
        • Only 2.5% delivered the maximum shock and 95% refused to deliver any shocks beyond the point where the learner first protested (mean shock level 82.5volts)


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