The study of Obedience

Topics: Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment, Social psychology Pages: 2 (444 words) Published: November 25, 2013

Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist, conducted the Behavioral study of obedience experiment. Milgram conducted this experiment to measure the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure instructing them to perform acts that conflicted with their moral view of right and wrong. The participants in the Milgram experiment were 40 men recruited using newspaper ads. The researchers hoped that the level of shock that the participants were willing to deliver would be used as the measure of obedience. Milgram developed an intimidating shock generator, with shock levels starting at 30 volts and increasing in 15-volt increments all the way up to 450 volts. The many switches were labeled with terms including "slight shock," "moderate shock" and "danger: severe shock." The final two switches were labeled simply with an "XXX. Of the 40 participants in the study, 26 delivered the maximum shocks while 14 stopped before reaching the highest levels. It is important to note that many of the subjects became extremely agitated, distraught and angry at the experimenter. Yet they continued to follow orders all the way to the end.

In this experiment Stanley Milgram evaluates the extent to which a participant is willing to conform to an authority figure who commands him to execute acts that conflict with his moral beliefs. The methods to which milgram used in this experiment might questionable to being that he tested the obedience in humans. Milgram discovers that the majority of participants will listen to authority. In this experiment, I believe that the subjects are misled because they are part of a learning experience that is not about what they are told. I think if Milgram began by telling all the participants his exact plans then this experiment would have never taken place to begin with. Despite this, throughout the process, the participants were exposed to various...
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