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  • Created on: 09-03-13 14:55
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Milgram (1963)
The aim of the experiment was to investigate what level of obedience participants would show when an
authority figure told them to administer electric shocks to another person.
Information on the Experiment
It was a self-selecting sample.
The type of experiment was a controlled observation.
Independent measure design was used.
40 males
Aged between 20 and 50
Range of occupations
Recruited through direct mailing and advertisements
Told the study was about relationship between punishment and learning
Pain $4.50 for participating
Laboratory experiment (controlled observation)
Rigged draw to ensure that participant was always the teacher
Confederate to play role of learner
Teacher given sample shock
Learner strapped to chair and electrodes attached to wrist
Learner (in the presence of teacher) told that shocks would be painful but no permanent tissue
damage would be caused
Teacher sat in front of shock generator (15 volts to 450 volts)
Teacher tested learner on word pairs
Incorrect answers given on standard ratio of 3:1
Shocks to be given for an incorrect answer starting at 15 volts and increasing in 15 volt
increments to 450 shocks (shocks were not real)
At 300 volt level learner pounded on wall

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Standard prods given by experimenter
Full debrief and friendly reconciliation with leaner
Independent Variable
Dependent Variable
All subjects obeyed up to the 300 volt level
Five refused after 300 volt level
Four refused after 315 volt level
Two refused after 330 volt level
One refused at 345, 360, 375 volts
26 continued till the 450 volt level
Extreme tension was notes for example nervous laughter
Milgram defined obedience as continuing until the final shock level had been delivered, thus
65% (26) were defined as…read more

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He concludes that obedience can be elicited form any individual given the right situational
He also concludes that the extreme tension showed by the participants was due to the conflict
between the desire not to hurt another person and the tendency to obey those in authority.…read more


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