Milgram 1963

  • Created by: Bham369
  • Created on: 09-02-18 12:18


  • Put an advert in Newhaven Journal for middle class males aged 20-50 with a $4.50 incentive 
  • PP had to go to Yale uni psychology department 
  • Met Mr Wallace (stooge) who was an accountant, 46 with a heart condition 
  • Chose teaher and student (told study was on learning) 
  • Fixed Mr W as student 
  • Saw Mr W strapped into electric chair 
  • Voltage went from 15 V - 450 V (***) in 15's 
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  • PP given a list of word pairs 
  • Mer W had to remember them 
  • If he got them wrong he would be given a shock 
  • Shock increased each time 
  • At 300 V he banged on the wall and complained 
  • After that he simply complained 
  • If PP wanted to stop they would be given 4 scripted prods 
    • Prod 1: Please continue.

      Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue.

      Prod 3: It is absolutely essential that you continue.

      Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.

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  • After the experiment PP was told true aims of study 
  • Met Mr W to see he was OK 
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  • At 300 V (when Mr W shouted and banged on the wall) some PP reused to continue
  • 14 showed nervous laughter 
  • 3 haf full blown uncontrollable seirures 
    • 1 had to stop due to violent convulsions 
  • 26 out of 40 (65%) went to 450 V


Before study 14 Yale uni psychology students predicted only 0-3% would administor 450 V 

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A Lab experiment with an indepenant measures design 

It was a controlled observation

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  • Explains why Hitler was allowed to do what he did 
  • When a person you see as authority tells you to do something you will do it 
    • Especially if they look the part/are in uniform 
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  • Unethical as it caused both physical and psychological harm to the participant 
  • Only men were used making it androcentric 
  • Ethnocentric as participants were only from the US 
  • Doesn't full explain why they did it
  • Low ecological validity as it was not done in a natural setting/situation and was in lab setting 
  • Partcipant coud have worked out the true aims of the study (Please-you/Screw-you effect)
  • Has many social implications 
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