Stanley Milgram Experiment

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In 1963, Stanley Milgram of Yale University conducted a behavioral study on destructive obedience. Researchers hypothesized that obedience to authority figures is an engrained behavior that can override an individual’s ethics, sympathies, and moral conduct. The experiment was designed to investigate what degree of obedience subjects would display when instructed by an authority figure to inflict pain and harmful punishment (via electric shock) on another person. In this study, the subjects were told that experimenters were looking into the effect of punishment on learning. Under false pretense and pretext, subjects were asked by an authority figure (the experimenter) to play the role of “teacher” and were instructed to deliver increasingly powerful shocks to “learners” when the learners failed to answer the teacher’s questions…show more content…
The independent variable was the contextual format and procedure of the experiment. That is to say: the perception of the authority figure and their legitimacy (study conducted at prestigious university with impassively mannered experimenter present in room with subject), the subject’s acceptance of the situation as authentic which was supported by a realistic looking shock machine (that subjects were given a sample shock from) and confederate learner, and the experimenter’s instructions and regimented prodding of teachers to continue. The dependent variable was the amount of obedience and compliance displayed by subjects. This value was determined by the maximum shock that subjects were willing to inflict on learners before refusing to continue. Despite initial audibly distressed protests of the learner and descriptions on the shock machine that indicated dangerous levels of severe shocks would be delivered, 26 of the
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