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  • to see what level of obedience is shown when an authority figure told participants to adminster electric shocks
  • wanted to prove Americans wouldn't have done the same thing the Germans did (WW2 - Hitler)


  • Lab Experiment - no IV manipulated
  • really is observation but controlled within lab setting


  • newspaper add - 500 men from New Haven area
  • final group - 40 males aged 20-40 - range of jobs, range of education
  • paid $4.50 regardless of what happened in the study


  • participant observation


  • took place at Yale Uni in an interaction lab, experimenter wore a grey tech. coat - aged 31, learner/victim was a 47 year old accountant - trained for role
  • participants tested one at a time
  • naive about true purpose - told it was a study on memory and learning
  • slips of paper determining role were fixed - pp. always teacher
  • PP. received control shock of 45V
  • Learning task: series of word pairs (20 pairs), victim had to match 1 word with 4 choices - shocked if wrong e.g. fast bird, soft hair
  • 15V (slight shock) - 450V (intense shock) - wrong answer, increase voltage
  • learner had pre-determined respones - 1 correct for 3 wrong, gave no vocal response to shocks until 300V - pounding on walls then nothing, cries were pre-recorded,
  • Prods if pp. showed reluctance: 1) Please Continue, 2) the experiment requires you to continue, 3) is its absolutely…




It was a Lab experiment.  and the IV WAS manupulates. 

It was for example the introduction of another participant

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