Obedience: Situational variables

  • Obedience: Situational variables:
  • AO1:
  • Explanations for obedience based on situational variables:
  • Proximity - In Milgram's origional study, the teacher and the learner were in the adjoining rooms. The teacher could hear the learner but not see him. In the proximity variation, teacher and learner were in the same room and the obedience rate dropped from 65% to 40%. 
  • In the touch proximity variation, the teacher had to force the learner's hand onto a shock plate. The obedience rate dropped to 30%. 
  • In the 'remote-instruction' proximity variation, the experimenter left the room and gave instructions by telephone. The obediece rate dropped again to 20.5%. The participants also frequently pretended to give shocks or gave weaker ones when they were ordered to. 
  • Location - The location in the obedience study was a run-down building rather than the uni setting where it was origionally (Yale university). Obedience fell to 47.5%. This inndicates that the experimenter had less obedience in this setting. 
  • Uniform - In the origional study, the experimenter wore a grey lab coat as an example of his athority (a kind of uniform). In one variation the experimenter was called away because of an inconvenient phone call right at the start of the procedure. The role of the experimenter was taken over by an 'ordinary member of


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