• Created by: Guy
  • Created on: 02-06-11 10:07


Aim: To investigate what level of obedience would be shown when participants were told by an authority figure to administer electric shocks to another person.


  • 40 Males from New Haven
  • Recruite through direct mailing and averts
  • Range of occupations
  • paid $4.50 for participating


  • Lab experiment
  • Rigged draw so participant was always teacher
  • Confederate play role of learner
  • learner strapped to chair with electrodes and told there will be no permanent tissue damage
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  • teacher given a real sample shock
  • Teacher sat  infront of shock generator (15-450 volts) and tested learner on word pairs
  • incorrect answers given on ration 3:1
  • shocks to be given for an incorrect answer starting at 15 volts and increasing in 15 volt increments to 450 volts (shocks were not real)
  • at 300 volt learner pounded on wall
  • Standard prods given by expierment
  • full debfrief and meeting with the learner


  • all subjects obeyed up to 300 volts
  • 65% obedient went up to 450 volts. 35% disobedient

Conclusion: prestigous uni, payment, shocks were not harmful SITUATIONAL

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