Milgram Experiment

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OCourtney Galfano
English 1102


Stanely Milgram created an experiment involving Yale students to injure a third party using electric shocks and studied how many students would follow orders and go along with the experiment. The experiment consisted of two people, a leaner and a teacher. The teacher would be placed at a table containing many different buttons and switches that were labeled from slight shock to severe shock. Then the learner, who was an actor, was strapped down to prevent excessive movement. He is instructed that he will be asked questions and if he was to answer wrong he will receive an electric shock that would eventually increase in intensity.

The teacher’s actions are what are mainly being studied. Milgram wanted to if by watching the learners reactions and pain he was being put through would affect the teacher. If the teacher wished to stop the experiment because of the pain he would be causing, Milgram would give orders for him to continue, then judging by their answer to continue he would record his observations.

The first subject follows orders all the way up to 210 volts and then begins to question Milgram after the learner complains about heart problems. Even after being asked multiple times to continue she refused and the experiment is terminated. When asked in an interview afterwards she stated that she felt that the last shock she administered to the learner was extremely painful and said she “did not want to be responsible for any harm to him” (361)

The next subject refused to go any farther after a 180-volt shock. When asked why he wouldn’t continue he stated, “I can’t stand it. I’m not going to kill this man in there, Can’t you hear him hollering?” (362) Milgram then reassured him that the shocks weren’t painful and that he would take the responsibility of anything happening to him. Reluctantly, the teacher continues but after a while the learner doesn’t respond to any more questions. The teacher...
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