Milgram A5

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Milgram

Milgram 

Aim: Study obedience in laboratory conditions 

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Participants

  • 40 males
  • 20yo - 50yo
  • range of occupations
  • recruited through direct mail and advertising 
  • told study was about punishment and leaning
  • paid $4.50
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Method

  • Laboratory observation
  • Rigged = participant always teacher
  • learner strapped to chair with electrodes
  • learner told, inpresence of teacher, that shocks were painful but no permanent tissue damage 
  • teacher sat in front of a shock generator (15-450volts)
  • teacher tested learner on word pairs
  • incorrect answer = 3:1 ratio
  • shocks given for incorrect answer, starting at 15V and increasing to 450V
  • at 300V learner pounded on wall
  • Standard prods given by experimentor
  • Full debrief and friendly reconcilation with learner in the end
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Results

  • All subjects obey till 300v
  • 5 refused after 300V
  • 4 refused after 315V
  • 2 refused at 330V
  • 1 refused at 345, 360, 375
  • 26 continued to 450 level
  • extreme tension (e.g: nervous laughter)
  • Milgram defined obedience as continuing to final shock
  • 65% = obedient 
  • 35% = defying experimentors instructions
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Conclusions

  • Obedience eliciated in any individual group given the righ situational conditons
  • Extreme tension due to desire not to hurt others conflicting with instructions from an authorative figure 
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Evaluation

Strength 

  • High control over the situation 
  • Clear, standardized procedure
  • Quantitative + Qualitative 

Weaknesses 

  • Low ecological validity 
  • Demand characteristics
  • Ethics: decieved and stress
  • Sample Bias: ethnocentric and anderocentric 

Uses

  • Not many applications due to the flaws in the study 
  • Went against the 'germans are different' hypothesis
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