1 Kelly Tankard C5627319 TMA02
Outline the similarities and differences between Milgram’s (1963) Obedience study and Burger’s (2009) replication.
What makes people do evil things? How easy is it to make ordinary people commit atrocities such as the Germans in world war two? Psychologist Stanley Milgram was curious to see how far people would go in following orders if it involved causing harm to another person. He was particularly intrigued by the case of Adolf Eichmann who was in charge of the trains that carried the Jews to a number of death camps in Poland. Eichmann fled to Argentina after the war where he was captured in 1960. He was later put on trial in Israel where he claimed he was just ‘doing his job’ and following the orders he had been given. He was found guilty and hanged. (Banyard,2012).
Milgram advertised for 40 male volunteers to take part in an experiment to test levels of obedience. The experiment involved three people:- the learner, who would sit in an electric chair. The teacher, who would be in the next room with an electric shock generator. Also an experimenter, who would give orders to the teacher. The teacher reads a series of word pairs to the learner who is expected to remember them. For example:- green grass, blue skies and nice day. The teacher reads out the first parts of the words, for each one the learner gets wrong the teacher administers an electric shock, with the level of shock increasing each time. The levels of shock ranging from 15 volts (slight shock) to 450 volts (severe shock). (Simply psychology, 2007).
The experiment was rigged so that Milgram was always the learner. He gave wrong answers purposefully to see how far the teacher would go. If the teacher refused they were then given a series of orders by the experimenter to persuade them...
References: Banyard, P. 2012. Just following orders? In: Brace, N and Byford, J. Investigating Psychology. Milton Keynes. The Open University. 64-65
Byford, J. 2014. The importance of replication. In: McAvoy, J and Brace, N. Investigating Methods. Milton Keynes. The Open University. 64-65, 74
Mcleod, S.A. 2007. The Milgram Experiment. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html. (accessed 29 december 2014)
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