Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioural study of Obedience


  • Controlled observation
  • Laboratory environment
  • STUDY not an experiment (no I.V)
  • Independant groups
  • 40 males aged (20-50)
  • Self selected participants
  • Laboratory at Yale University
  • Scientist wore a white lab coat
  • Student was an actor
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  • Learner seated in adjacent room
  • No / incorrect response = Shock
  • Voltage increased in 15v intervals from 15v-450v
  • Varying orders when teacher refused to shock the student ie: "Please continue", "The study requires you to continue"
  • At 300v, the student began to pound on the wall, and a second pound was heard at 315v
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  • 100% followed orders until 300v
  • 12.5% dropped out at 300v
  • 65% obeyed to maximum level of shock
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  • Factors that lead to high levels of obedience:
    • Prestigious location (Yale university)
    • Scientist in lab coat
    • Learner is in seperate room
    • Experimenter physically present
  • "We are all capable of such acts"
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