Obedience: Situational Variables


Situational variables


  • Obedience decreased to 40% when teacher could hear learner, and to 30% in touch proximity condition.


  • Obedience decreased to 47.5% when study moved to run-down office block.


  • Obedience decreased to 20% when 'member of the public' was the experimenter.
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Research support

  • Bickman showed power of uniform in field experiment.

Lack of internal validity

  • Some of Milgram's procedures contrived, so not genuine obedience (Orne and Holland).

Cross-cultural replications

  • Cross-cultural findings support Milgram.
  • But almost all studies in similar cultures to USA so not very generalisable.

Evaluation extra

  • Control of variables in Milgram's variations
  • The 'obedience alibi'
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