Milgram's Electrocution study (1963)

milgram's study summarised

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What did Milgram do?


- advertised for male volunteers, offering payment of $4.50

- asked participants to be the 'experimenter' and would meet a fake 'learner'

- strapped the fake learner to a machine

- asked the experimenter to ask questions to the learner, which if then answered wrong would be given an electric shock

- this shock increased by 15V each time a question was answered wrong

- this went up to 450V

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They found that:

- 35% of the participants did not give the full 450V when asked to

- when the participant was told that the psychologist would have full responsibility for the learner, they were more likely to continue with the experiment

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- There are some ethical and moral issues with this study as it was causing potential psychological harm

- Full informed consent was not gained

- It was difficult for Participants to withdraw

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What happened next

- Elms & Milgram (1974) went back to the participants from the original study and found that there had been no long term effects causes by the study.

- Milgram argued that although difficult, it was possible to withdraw

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