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AQA A-Level Psychology Paper 1 > Milgram's Obedience Study > Flashcards

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How many participants were involved?

40 participants.


What age range were the participants?

Between 20-50.


How could we describe the population sample?

A very individualistic sample with low population validity. All 40 participants were males from the USA.


What can't we do with the results from Milgram's study?

We cannot generalise the findings to the rest of the population (low population validity) because his sample size was so individualistic. It completely excludes females and other people from different cultures and of different ages. The findings are based on 40 people from the USA.


What were the four prods?

1) Please continue.
2) The experiment requires that you continue.
3) It is absolutely essential that you continue.
4) You have no other choice. You must go on.


What percentage of participants went to at least 300V?



What percentage of participants went to the full 450V?



What piece of qualitative data shows that participants showed distress?

"They sweated, trembled, stuttered, bit their lip, groaned and dug their fingernails into their hand."


What did Milgram conclude from his study?

He concluded that, under the right circumstances, ordinary people would follow unjust orders.


Give an advantage of Milgram's (1963) obedience study.

Permissable answers:
-High internal validity (extent to which the piece of evidence supports a claim).
-Strict control of extraneous variables nad confounding variables (because it is a lab experiment)

-Thought it may be lacking in population validity, similar research with a more representative sample found similar results i.e. Hofling - obedience amonst nurses to doctors is high (21/22).

-Independant groups design - less chance of showing demand characteristics that would confound the results and less chance of 'Screw you' phenomenon.

- Milgram compensated for the partial consent by following pps one year after the study to ensure they were mentally sound.


Give a disadvantage of Milgram's study.

Permissable answers:
-Low ecological validity due to it being a lab experiment.
-Low population validity due to a bias, unrepresentative sample.
-Breaks many ethnic guidelines; e.g. protection from harm, deception and right to withdraw.


What conclusion did Milgram make when the study was carried out in a run-down building in Connecticut?

Percentage of those who administered the full 450V dropped from 65% to 47.5%. The legitmacy of the location reflects the legitimacy of the authourity.


What did Milgram find when Uniform was altered amongst confederates?

65% to 20%. Uniform has a dramatic impact on the authourity of a person.


What did Milgram find about Proximity to an authourity figure?

-If the teacher and learner were in the same room, obedience dropped from 65% to 40%.
-No authority figure present- 65% to 21%.
-Contact with learner - 65% to 30%


Give an example of supporting evidence for Milgram's uniform variation.

Bickman (1974) investigated power of uniform in a field experiment in New York.
-Security Guard Uniform - 76%.
-Milkman Uniform - 47%.
-Ordinary Clothes - 30%.


Give an advantage of Milgram's variations study.

- Supporting evidence from Bickman.
- Holistic - shows cause and effect relationships.
- Supporting evidence from Hofling - 21/22 nurses obeyed the doctor's commands.
- Sheridan and King - REAL shocks on puppies - 20/26 went to the max.


Give a disadvantage of Milgram's variations study.

- Obedience alibi - Mendel claimed that it is offensive to suggest that Nazi soldiers were simply obeying orders.
- Ignores situational factors e.g. racism/discrimination.

- Orne and Holland suggested that pps may realise the procedures were fake - Milgram himself showed concern for this when he was replaced by another researcher in one condition.