Milgram Section A

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Aims and Context

What did Milgram aim to test?

- to find out if poeple would obey to authority in a controlled setting AND to find if the holocaust happened because germans have authoritarian personalities

When were studies liek this carried out and why?

- after WW2 to prevent events like the holocaust happening again

Why did these events occur?

- because people blindly obeyed authority

"these inhumane policies such as the death camps may have orignated in the mind of a single person but they could only be carried out on a massive scale if a very large number of people obeyed orders" (Milgram)

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Aims and Context

Why did most researchers say the holocaust happened?

- because germans are 'different' and have authoritarian personalities

What did Adorno suggest?

- personalities are intolerant of minority groups such as jews who are seen as inferior

What causes this type of personality?

- hostility ratings from a harsh upbringing

What happend to this hosility after?

- its displaced onto minority groups

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Aims and Context

What did Arendt study?

- case study of Eichmann

Who was Eichmann?

- the nazi responsible for organising transportation of jews to death camps

When was his trial?

- 1961

What did his trial reveal?

- he was not evil, he was dull and normal but he just followed orders

How many jews were sent to death camps by him?

- over 6 million by 1944

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What was Milgrams research method?

- observing pps under tightly controlled conditions

What was the dependant variable?

- the highest number switch that the pps pressed

How many people were in the sample?

- 40 males ages 20-50

How were they chosen?

- volunteer sampling from advertisement in New Haven Newspaper

The pps had a range of what?

- jobs, from postal clerks to engineers

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What were they told the research was about?

- memory, learning and punishment

How much were they payed?

- $4.50

How many people took part each time?

- 3, "teacher" (naive pps) "learner" and "experimenter" (confederates)

What happened to the naive pps?

- they always became the teacher

What did all three people do before starting the experiment?

- when into the next room to wire up the learner

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How big was the sample shock?

- 45v

What did the labels on the shock generator say?


What did the teacher have to do?

- give the learner an electric shock each time they got a word pair wrong

How much did they shocks increase by each time?

- 15v

If the teacher hesitated, what did the experimenter give them?

- prompts such as "the experiment requires that you continue"

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The teacher thought that the shocks were what?

- real

What could the teach hear in the next room?

- the learner groaning in pain, however after 315v the learner was silent

What did Milgram do to address ethical issues?

- debriefed the pps straight after explaining the real purpose of the experiment and ensured they were in a state of well-being before leaving

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Findings and Conclusions

What did psychology students say before starting the experiment?

- only 0-3% of the pps would go up to 450v

How many pressed 450v in the real study?

- 65%

How many stopped before 450v?

- 35%

5 pps withdrew at what voltage?

- 300v

How many pps withdrew at 315v?

- 4

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Findings and Conclusions

2 pps withdrew at what voltage?

- 330v

How many pps withdrew at 345v, 360v and 375v?

- 1 each voltage

What signs of extreme stress were shown?

- lip biting, sweating, trembling, laughing nervously

How many pps had siezures?

- 3

What did Milgram find out in the debriefs?

- on a 14 point scale, they rated 14 on how painful they thought the shocks were

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Findings and Conclusions

Milgram said people obey authortiy because of what?

- the situation they are in

Why did people obey the experimenter?

- because it was done in a prestigious univeristy (Yale)

Why else did people obey according to Milgram?

- because they were paid, they didnt want to disrupt the study because they thought it was important scientific research

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