MILGRAM Procedures PY2 Core studies

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  • Created on: 02-12-12 21:12
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Milgram's behavioural study of obedience.
40 participants were chosen by an advert in the newspaper in new haven USA. It
stated that each participant would be payed $4.50 just to turn up to the experiment.
They were told that it was research on memory.
The participants were all males ranging between 20 to 50 years old, all with different
levels of education from one who never finished primary school to one with a PHD.
The study took place in a lab in yale university.
When the participants arrived they met the experimenter and the confederate who
were both accomplices of Milgram.
The experimenter wore a grey lab coat and was very authoritive which is important in
testing obedience.
The confederate (Mr Wallace) was friendly and mild-mannered.
The participant and the confederate then drew slips of paper to decide which of them
would play the role of the teacher and which would play the learner.
This section of the experiment was rigged. The naive participant was always assigned
as the teacher.
Then both teacher and learner were taken into the experimental room where the
learner was strapped to an electric chair to prevent excessive movement and
electrode paste was applied to prevent burns.
The shock machine had 30 switches on it, starting at 15v going up to 450v.
For every 4 switches there were shock lables starting at slight shock then going on
to intense shock and finally reaching XXX at 450v.
The teacher receives a shock of 45v to make the experiment seem more real. Then
he is taken into an adjoining room.
The teacher was told to administer a shock when the learner gave a wrong answer
and to escalate to a higher level of shock each time, whilst announcing the shock
The learner was told to give 3 wrong answers to every right answer and told to make
no comment until 300v was reached. Then at 300v they were to pound on the wall
then make no further comment.

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The experimenter was trained to give a sequence of four standard prods if the
teacher hesitated about delivering the shock. These prompts were:
Please continue
This experiment requires that you continue
It is absolutely essential that you continue, and
You have no other choice, you must go on.
There were also special prods such as "although the shocks may be painful there is
no permanent damage so go on" and "I will take full responsibility"
After the experiment the participant is reunited with the learner.…read more


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