Liberating Effects Of Groups Pressure
To test whether the rate of obedience in the Milgram procedure would be affected by witnessing rebellious or obedient fellow participants.
80 male participants aged 20-50 years matched for age and occupation with those in the original study.
Participants took part in one of two conditions, either with an obedient stooge (Group 1) or a rebellious stooge (Group 2). In Group 1, the participant worked with two rebellious stooges, one refusing to go further than 150v and the other stopped at 210v. In Group 2 the participant worked with obedient stooges who gave shocks without protest and offered mild rebukes when the participant expressed displeasure with the procedure. Milgram’s original group served as a control.
In Milgram’s original study, all participants gave at least 300v and 26 (65%) gave 450v.
In the rebellious stooge condition 50% refused to continue past150v and only 6/40 (15%) gave the full 450v.
In the obedient stooge condition 29 participants (72.5%) went to 450v.
The behaviour of fellow participant’s made a difference to the rates of obedience. The presence of rebellious stooges had a much larger effect on participants than that of the obedient ones; the majority felt able to refuse order once one or both the others had done so. Situation rather…