Milgram's Study (1963) -
Behavioural study of obedience to malevolent authority.
Aim: To establish how obedient participants would be when ordered to administer increasingly intense electric shocks to an innocent victim.
Method: 40 participants volunteered by answering an advertisment in the newspaper, for a study on human memory. They were given a cash incentive.
Individually the participant and a stooge was told they would take part in a study about the effect of punishment on memory. In a rigged draw, the participant was always given the role of teacher and the stooge the role of learner. They were both shown the equiptment before the study began - a shock generator, going from 15V to 450V.
Before they began, Mr Wallace (stooge/confederate) claimed to have heart troubles. They separated the stooge and participants into separate rooms. The experiment began with the 'teacher' reading the word list and testing the 'learner'. With every question the learner gets wrong, he would be shocked - with voltage increasing each time. The learners response was actually scripted and no shocks were really given; it only appeared that they were, The experimenter would pressure and shout insults at the participant, to make them feel as though they have to continue, even though at various points Mr Wallace complained of pain and…