Procedures - Milgram (1963)

Procedures for Milgram study on obedience

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  • Created by: anika
  • Created on: 12-02-13 19:08


  • Self-selected sample, collected via newspaper adverts
  • 40 males aged between 20 & 50 (paid $4.50 for participation)
  • Laboratory pre experiment (prospective study/trial - same participants repeatedly measured over time)
  • IV = orders from an authority figure, DV = maximum voltage administered (15-450(***)
  • Conceived as 'memory experiment' (real focus=behaviour demonstrated obedience of pp)
  • 2 confederates= experimenter (31 yrs+wearing grey lab coat) &learner (47 yrs)
  • Rigged draw for 'teacher' and 'learner' roles, naive pp always gets 'teacher' role
  • Teacher sees learner (NP) strapped in 'electric chair', leather straps used to 'prevent excessive movement' & electrode paste 'avoid blisters+burns' applied before electrode placed on learners wrists
  • Teacher taken to another room & is told electrode linked to shock generator, sat down before it + is supervised by experimenter
  • Shock generator= 30 switches, every 4 switches= shock labels ('slight shock'-'***') pressing each switch electric buzzing heard, voltage meter moves& various relay clicks are heard. Experimenter uses 3rd switch(45v) to teacher as 'sample shock'
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Procedures Continued

  • Learning task = teacher told to give shock when learner gave incorrect answer & to higher voltage every time, reading aloud the shock level each time
  • Feedback from learner = give 3 wrong answers to ever right one, told to make no protest until shock level reached 300v, pound on wall but make no further comment
  • If teacher hesitates, experimenter says 'please continue', 'exp requires you continue', 'absolutely essential you continue', 'no other choice, must go on'. If NP asks about learner then 'shocks may be painful, no permenant tissue damage, so go on'
  • Teacher was debriefed & experimenter reunites teacher & learner & then interviewed about experience



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