Slides in this set
Aim: To investigate whether the ordinary people will obey orders from an authority even
when it meant harming another.
Procedure: 40 males volunteers - told it was a study about how punishment affects learning -
$4.50 even if quit. Actors - Authority figure, 47 year old account(other 'volunteers' one getting
shocked). Drew lots see who would be teacher/learner (fixed, real participant was always
teacher). Teacher told to give learner increasing electric shocks if he got a question wrong,
shock machine tested on teacher to prove it worked. Learner gave wrong answers, and got
fake shocked and screamed until 315v when silent, if teachers tired to stop then experimenter
prodded until they carried on.
Findings: Before he asked professionals what they thought - few to go past 150v, 4% to 300v,
1/1000 to go to 450v. Actually everyone went past 300v only 12.5% stopped, 65% went to
the full 450v.
Conclusion: Ordinary people are astonishingly obedient to authority even when asked to be
inhumane. Suggests its not evil people who commit bad things but ordinary people obeying
orders. Crimes from obedience not disobedience.…read more
Variation 1: Location: Aim - to see if a less prestigious buildings have an effect on
obedience. Procedure - same as original but in run down office instead of Yale. Findings -
obedience decreased to 48% (max shock). Conclusions - that location does effect how
many people obey, people at Yale have more authority at Yale, they are more likely to have
a reason to harm i.e. its important for the greater good.
Variation 2: Rebellious Peers: Aim - to see if the influence of disobedient peers affect
obedience. Procedure - Same as original. But 1st teacher read question, 2nd teacher correct
or not, 3rd teacher (real participant) gave shock. Findings - 4 out of 40 (10%) continued to
max shock, most peers stopped when peers did. Conclusion - Participants use others
disobedience as an excuse to not cause further harm.…read more
EVALUATION OF MILGRAM
This study is not very realistic. For example in real life you would not normally
have to give shocks. Therefore, the participant may have guessed the experiment
was not real and not acted in the way they would have in a real situation, so
results are invalid.
This study is not generalisable. For example all the participants were men.
Therefore the results of this study can not be applied to females, females may be
more empathetic or could be scared of experimenter so carry on further.
This study does not account for cultural differences. For example it was only
Americans in the 60's. Therefore Milgrams results can only be applied to them
and not other cultures. E.g. German males 85%, Australia females 16%
This experiment could be used as an obedience alibi. For example Nazis claim
they were just doing as they told. So Milgrams research could be used to take
away personal responsibility, when should be punished.…read more
ETHICS FOR MILGRAMS
Gave consent, but not informed didn't know real experiment.
Deception, confederates, shocks not really given, fixed draws.
Did have right to withdraw, but didn't feel like they could.
We debriefed very well.
Milgram was competence.
Possibly harm when given shock, psychological harm stress etc.
Was social sensitive, people don't want to believe they could hurt