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24 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What is the aim of the Milgram study?

The aim of the study was to see how obedient people would be to orders under authority, which would result in pain to another person. More specifically to see how many volts of shock someone would give to a man, when ordered to by a scientist.

What is the Independant variable in Milgram study?

What prods are used by the observer.

What is the dependant varaiable in the Milgram study?

The levels of obedience.

How was the dependant variable operationalised?

Obedience was operationalised as the maximum voltage given by the participant.

What was the sample method?

It was a volunteer sample/self-selected sample.

What was the sample size?

40 men aged (20-50) from the New Haven district in North America.

How were they recruited?

Through a newspaper advert, promissed $4 and taxi fair (about 50 cents).

What kind of jobs did they have in the milgram study?

37.5% were manual labourers, 40% were white collared workers and 22.5% were professionals.

Procedure of the milgram study?

- They were told the money was just for turning up not for doing the experiment.

- At Yale University.

- The naive participant was introduced to the confederate.

- Then they were briefed on the fake experiment the one advertised.

- Drew slips of paper to see who was the teacher and who was the learner, this was fiddled with to make sure the naive participant was always the teacher.

- The confederate was strapped to a chair with electrodes attached to him, after the experimenter left he took off the elctordes and played a recording of him screaming.

- The naive participant was taken to the next room (only a wall to seperate them), to the shock generator.

- The generator rised in 15v ranging from 15v to 450v.

- There was an experimentor in the same room as the teacher.

- The teacher read out words of pairs, to the confederate (learner).

- Each time the confederate (learner) gets it wrong the teacher will shock them, increasing the volts by 15v each time they get a question wrong.

- Up to 300v the confederate shows no response to the shocks.

- At 300v and 315v the confederate was pounding against the wall, he was then silent and didn't respond to further questions.

- When the teacher turned to the experimenter, the experimenter said treat no responce as incorrect and continue to give the shocks.

- When they protesed they were given verbal prods.

- When they refused to go up anymore volts or they have reached the limit on the machine, they were interviewed and dehoaxed.

- They were asked to rate how painful it was to administer those last few shocks on a scale on 0-14, then they were told the shocks were not real and told the real purpose of the study.

What is an confederate and a naive participant?

Confederate - someone who pretends to be a participant, when they really work for the researcher.

Naive participant - someone who does not know the purpose of the procedure.

Hypothesis for Milgrams study?

He told his students the procedure and they on average said that only 1.2% of participants would administer the full 450v shock.

The four prods

1-Please continue.

2-The experiment requires you to continue.

3-It is absoloutly essential that you continue.

4-You have no other choice but to continue.


- Quantitative data - average volts given was 368 volts. 100% of participants gave 300 volts or more. 65% gave the full 450 volts. On average in the interviews they said the last few shocks mental pain was 13.42 out of 14.

- Qualitative data - the comments and protest the participants made during the procedure, and in the form of their body language, such as bitting lips, groaning, sweeting and stuttering. Fourteen giggled nervously and one have a servere seizure inwhich the procedure was stopped.

Most participants did protest.


1. People are more obedient to destructive orders than we might expect.

2. People find taking destrucive order, extremly stressful, due to their emotions going haywire from emotional conflict.

Explain why there was high levels of obedience?

1. It was in a highly respectable university.

2. The aim of the study seems to be a worth while one.

3. The participant and confederate has volunteered, so feel obliged to complete the experiment.

4. Since they got paid, they may feel obliged to complete the experiment.

5. The participants assumed that the shocks are not dangerous.

6. The learner has appeared to be fine with 300 volts.

Later variations to the procedure

1. Giving the participant further distance from the confederate.

2. Less personal responsibility for decision making.

3. Increased obedience, whilst reducing the level of authority of the experimenter.

4. Making the situation less respectable/scientific.

Results in variations giving 450 volts.

Victim is silent throughout - 100%

Standard procedure - 65%

Location in seedy office - 48%

Victim in same room - 40%
Orders given by phone - 20.5%

No lab coat - 20%

Fellow participants disobey - 10%

Participant chooses voltage - 2.5%

What was the research method?

Lab experiment.

Evaluation - reseach method

Since it is a lab experiment, the conditions can be controlled so we can be sure the IV is the only thing that is affecting the DV. Lab experiments are also easy to repliacte, making them reliable. However it is not very realistic.

Evaluation - data

Since he has both types of data , it makes the results clearer, because if we only had the quantitaive data, it would show that 65% of people will just be obedient, but the qualitative data implies the amount of stress they went through.

Evaluation - Ethics

1. He put them under servere stress, which is a health risk.

2. He didn't recieve consent to do the experiment, due to decieving them about the aim and procedure.

3. Participants was decieved on the nature of the confederate and the reality of their shocks.

Evaluation - validity

1. Low in ecological validity due to not being realistic.

Evaluation - reliability

It has high reliability because the test can be replicated.

Evaluation - Sampling bias

Since they were all men it is hard to generalise to the whole population. Since it is a volunteer sample, all of the participants will be simular because not everyone would take part in an experiment.