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Why did people obey in
Milgram's experiment?

PSYB2: Social Influence

Page 2

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Location at Yale

Participants believed
that the university
must know what it
was doing and would
not allow people to be
harmed or their
prestigious reputation
would be harmed

Page 3

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Worthy purpose of study

Participants were told
that it was research that
was important and
needed to be carried out
­ they believed it was a
study of memory and
learning

Page 4

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Subjects believed the victim had
volunteered and consented

Participants felt that the other person
had chosen to be there of their own free
will and they should decide themselves if
they wanted to stop

Page 5

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Subject made a commitment

Once participants
had said yes, they
felt it was difficult
to go against the
commitment they
had made

Page 6

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Payment


They had been paid and an agreement
when money is involved is a strong bond

Page 7

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The role was a chance and it could
have been them


Participants felt that they
could have been the
`learner' and the one
receiving the shocks - they
questioned whether the
other person would have
stopped for them.

Page 8

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Could not compare the experience
to anything else


It is difficult to make decisions about
something we have no experience of

Page 9

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They were told that the shocks were
not harmful


Participants believed that this meant that
what they did was not seriously injuring
`Mr Wallace'

Page 10

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Up to the twentieth shock the victim
still provided an answer

If Mr Wallace
provided an
answer then
participants felt
that he was still
giving his consent
for them to
continue

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