Milgrams Experiment

  • Created by: WSL01
  • Created on: 12-12-17 17:17

Milgram 1963

An experiment to investigate how far people would go in obeying an instruction from an authority figure if it involved harming another person.

(This experiment was initially carried out to find reasoning for Nazi soldiers in WW2)



40 male participants aged between 20-50 years old were introduced to confederates as the “learners” of the teaching experiment, whilst the participants played the “teacher”. In the experiment, the learner was told to be strapped to an electric chair in one room and the teacher was to sit in another room with a shock box. The teacher was instructed to ask questions to the learner and give a shock to every incorrect answer given. Each shock would be increased to the next level of power. (There were 30 switches from 15 volts to 450 volts).

When participants spoke out that they could no longer carry on, the authority figure (man dressed in a white lab coat) would use probes to insist they carry on:

Prod 1: Please continue.

Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue.

Prod 3: It is absolutely essential that you continue.

Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.



·      No protection of participants – they were exposed to extreme stressful situations

·      Lack of right to withdraw – verbal probes discouraged the idea to withdrawal

·      Deception to the participants…


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