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The Milgram experiment


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A lego experiment illustrating the famous Milgram experiment of the 1960s. A psychology experiment that demonstrated the powerful influence authority figures have on people's behaviour and the extent to which people will obey even extreme orders from these figures.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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The Milgram experiment

  1. 1. The Milgram experiment People obey extreme orders from authority figures
  2. 2. In 1961 Stanley Milgram began carrying out a series of now notorious experiments testing the extent to which people would obey instructions from an authority figure if those instructions involved harming another person
  3. 3. Participant Stooge Stooge
  4. 4. At the start of the experiment participants were introduced to another ‘participant’ (actually a confederate of the researcher) The participants drew lots to determine who would be the ‘teacher’ and who would be the ‘learner’ (although this was fixed so that the confederate would always become the learner)
  5. 5. Teacher Learner Experimenter
  6. 6. The learner was taken into one room and strapped into an electric chair They were then given a list of word pairs to memorise
  7. 7. Sit here please
  8. 8. This looks ominous…
  9. 9. The teacher was then taken into another room containing an electric shock generator
  10. 10. You will use this apparatus to teach the learner when they make a mistake Low voltage – slight shock Danger – severe shock
  11. 11. The teacher tested the learner by reading out the first word in each of the pairs and offering four options for the learner to choose the second paired word from When the learner responded correctly, the teacher did nothing
  12. 12. I’m glad he got that right
  13. 13. When the learner gave a wrong answer, the teacher was told to administer an electric shock, increasing the voltage each time another wrong answer was given The learner gave mostly wrong answers (on purpose) The responses to the shocks that the teacher heard were tape recordings
  14. 14. Please continue Aargh! Oh no!
  15. 15. If the teacher protested as the voltage went up, the experimenter gave four scripted answers insisting they continue If the participant maintained their protest after all four orders had been given the experiment ended Otherwise the experiment ended after the teacher had administered the highest shock – 450 volts
  16. 16. The experiment requires you to continue Please don’t! This is horrible!
  17. 17. It is absolutely essential that you continue Please I have a heart condition — I can’t take this! I can’t believe they’re making me do this!
  18. 18. You have no other choice but to continue … WHY?!!!
  19. 19. Two thirds of participants (teachers) administered electric shocks up to the highest level (450 volts) – even though this would have been fatal All participants administered shocks up to 300 volts
  20. 20. Conclusion The majority of people will obey orders from authority figures even to the extent of killing an innocent person
  21. 21. Reference Behavioural Study of Obedience The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol 67(4), Oct 1963, 371-378 Stanley Milgram