Factors affecting obedience

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  • Created on: 15-06-13 21:45

Factors Affecting Obedience

In order to further explore the factors that influenced obedience, Milgram replicated his experiment carrying out 18 studies in total with over 1,000 participants. In these variations he systematically varied the setting of the experiment, the power of the experimenter and the closeness of the learner to the teacher. Each of these factors gave increased understanding of when and why people obey or disobey orders.

  • The setting of the experiment: one factor that Milgram thought may have contributed to the high levels of obedience was the setting of the experiment, the prestigious Yale University. In order to see if obedience was caused by the prestige of the setting, Milgram packed up his shock generator and moved his experiment into a seedy office above a shop. Calling himself Research Associates Ltd he advertised for participants in the paper and replicated the study exactly. Under this condition he found a significant drop in obedience. 48% of his participants in this setting continued to 450V on the shock generator. This led Milgram to conclude that the prestige of Yale University was one factor that contributed to high levels of obedience.
  • Reducing the power of the experimenter: in another version of the experiment Milgram reduced the power of the experimenter by removing him from the room and instructing him to give


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