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What is the aim of Milgram?

To research how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person.


What is destructive obedience?

Obeying an instruction that will bring harm to another person.


What is obedience?

Being ordered or instructed to do something while being influenced by an authority figure.


Outline the research method used in Milgram.

A controlled observation or experiment as there was no IV.


Outline the pilot study?

14 Yale Seniors estimated the percentage of participants who would administer the highest shock level, the response ranged from 1 to 3%.


Outline the sample in Milgram.

40 males (aged 20 to 50) from New Haven.
Opportunity sample from newspaper advert.
Wide range of occupations.
Paid $4.50.
Authority figure was played by a biology teacher and the victim an accountant called Mr Wallace.


What are the main characteristics of the shock generator used in Milgrams study?

Th shocks ranged from 15V to 450V which went up in 15V increments.
With each increasing shock was a word paid with the shock level.


Outline the procedure in Milgram.

Took place in a lab at Yale, participants were told it was about how punishment affects learning.
Ps were given the role of a 'teacher' and met the 'learner' who was strapped into an electric chair.
The teach was given a shock of 40V to stimulate genuineness.
The 'learner; (tape recording), got roughly 3 anwers wrong for every right one.
At 300V the learner pounds on the wall and after this no replies.


What were the prompts in Milgrams procedure?

Prod 1: Please continue.
Prod 2: The experiment required you to continue.
Prod 3: it is absolutely essential that you continue.
Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.


What were the main results from Milgrams study?

100% of Ps continue to 300V.
65% of participants continued to the full 450V.
14 participants were disobedient and walked out.


What was the IV and DV in Milgrams study?

IV: the presence of a legitimate authority figure.
DV: the shock level applied to the 'learner'.


What was the main conclusions from Milgrams study

People will obey others they consider a legitimate authority figure and go against moral beliefs.
Individual differences, such as personality, influence the extent to which people will be obedient.


Evaluate the research method used in Milgrams study?

It is described as an experiment as it measures DV (whether people obeyed or disobeyed) and control (the electric shock machine, the same people played the role as experimenter and learner.

It did not have an IV.

Highly standardised procedure which makes it repeatable and established reliability.


Evaluate the data collected in Migrams study

The main quantitative data generated comprised of percentages of participants who administered a shock.
This was useful as it showed clearly how far participants were willing to go and made it easily comparable between repeats of the study.

The qualitative data consisted of descriptions of those in the role of 'teacher' behaved (e.g. sweating or trembling) and things they said.
Without the qualitative data we would not know the feelings of participants.


What were the ethic issues within this study?

Participants did not informed consent, they consented to take part by were decided of the true purpose of the study.

They had a limited ability to withdraw due to the prompts said by the experimenter but 35% did leave.

Confidentiality was ensured as no names were included in the study.

Participants did come to harm as 14 participants showed signs of nervous laughter and 3 had full blown seizures.

Milgram did debrief them after they ended the experiment and 84% said they were gland they took part.


Assess the validity of the research.

High levels of face validity as he measured what he wanted to measure obedience. However, it can be argued that obedience is too simplistic and behaviour was also effected by empathy and moral courage.

Lacked ecological validity


Assess the reliability of the research.

It was highly replicable, as it was replicated with 40 different participants.

The way in which results were recorded would have lead to someone overseeing the procedure and recording the outcome.


Assess the sample bias in Milgrams research.

Milgrams sample was from lower and middle class backgrounds. Milgrams participants were all from New Haven and were all male.

Milgram used a self-selecting sample method as participants decided their own involvement, this may have attracted a certain type of person.


Assess to what extent this research can be considered ethnocentric.

Milgrams research can be seen as ethnocentric because it was only carried out in one country and it cannot be assumed that the same levels of obedience will be shown in other countries.

Replications of Milgrams study were carried out in many countries and found similar findings.


Discuss Milgram in relation to the individual vs situational debate.

Situational: 100% went to 300V, the situation in which the participant was placed with a legitimate authority figure.

Individual: 35% dropped out before the full 450V.


Discuss Milgram in relation to the free will vs determinism debate.

Determinism: 65% of participants were to 450V their behaviour was determined by the situation in which they were in.

Free will: 35% dropped out before 450V


Discuss the usefulness of research by Milgram.

This study can be considered very useful as it suggests that people in authority have power over actions of their subordinates.

Milgrams study can be used a positive authority in schools, business and military settings, it also has the potential to be abused for those who might seek people to obey for malicious purposes.


How does Milgram link to its key area?

Falls into the social area as it reveals the extent to which behaviour can be influenced by other people around them.


How does Milgram link to the key theme?

The key theme is responses to people in authority, Milgram's study even in a immoral situation their is obedience to authority.