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Birth of Milgram's study
CP Snow: 'more hideous crimes
have been committed in the name
of obedience than rebellion'
e.g. Nazi reign and holocaust
Hypothesis states Germans have
character defect which makes
them more obedient
dispositional attribution
Milgram questioned hypothesis;
attributed behaviour to situation,
not personality situational
attribution…read more

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Defined as:
'complying to the demands of others, particularly
those in position of authority'…read more

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Aim of Milgram
To investigate what level of obedience would be
shown when participants were told by an
authoritary figure to administer electric shocks to
another person…read more

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Study often described as Nervous breakdown? -
experiment emotional response
No control condition ­ not
strictly experiment
Independant variable ­ prods
by experimenter to carry on
Dependant variable ­ degree
of obedience
Controlled observation
Qualitative (emotional
responses) and quantitative
(amount of volts given)
measured…read more

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Participants : 40 males
between 20-50 years
Wide range of occupations
Milgram created phoney 'shock
generator' in psychology lab
Victim : Mr Wallace, trained 47-
year-old accountant
Participant asked to learn
switches (fake) on generator to
help during the application of
the shock…read more

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