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Why do we obey authority?

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Presentation on theme: "Why do we obey authority?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why do we obey authority?
Milgram Experiment Why do we obey authority? Ethic Group 2

2 Milgram’s question Why do we obey authority?

3 Background of Milgram Experiment
The experiment started in July 1961, one year after death sentence of Otto Adolf Eichmann (one of the major organisers of the Holocaust). Stanley Milgram designed this experiment to test how far would the participants would go with inhuman obedience asked by authority against their conscience. Although this experiment was under ethical accusations, its psychological value to the development of modem psychology cannot be overlooked.

4 Description of the study
Participants: 40 men aged between 20 &50 who jobs ranged from unskilled to professionals Methods: Methods used in the Milgram experiment included 40 men which was randomly selected. Each participant received $4.50-$5.00 to take part in this experiment. Milgram developed an intimidating shock generator, with different shock levels starting at 30 volts to 450 volts. Switches were labeled with terms including “Slight Shock”, “Moderate Shock”, and danger: “Severe Shock”. The final two switches were labeled simply with ominous “XXX”.

5 Description of the study

6 Description of the study
The experimenter issued a series of commands to prod the participants along: “Please continue” “The experiment requires that you continue” “It is absolutely essential that you continue” “You have no other choice, you must go on”

7 Description of the study
Results: 65% (two-thirds) of participants (teacher) continued to highest level of 450 volts. Milgram carried out 18 variations of his study. All he did was alter the situation to see how this affected obedience. Of the 40 participants in the study, 26 delivered the maximum shocks while 14 stopped before reaching the highest levels. Many subjects became extremely agitated, distraught and angry at the experimenter, Yet, they continued to follow orders all the way to the end.

8 Ethical Problems Knowingly practicing deception: The main ethical issue of the Milgram Experiment was participants were lied to about what they participated in. No quitting or withdraw: In the case of this experiment they were not able to stop anytime that they felt uncomfortable. No protection for participants from harm: the participants were not aware of what going on in the experiment, they were cause a lot of distress

9 Effect on current research

10 Effect on current research
Deception Harm Unethical

11 Effect on current research
In addition, Burger screened out any potential subjects who had taken more than two psychology courses in college or who indicated familiarity with Milgram’s research. A clinical psychologist also interviewed potential subjects and eliminated anyone who might have a negative reaction to the study procedure. In Burger’s study, participants were told at least three times that they could withdraw from the study at any time and still receive the $50 payment. Also, these participants were given a lower-voltage sample shock to show the generator was real – 15 volts, as compared to 45 volts administered by Milgram.  “Though direct comparisons of absolute levels of obedience cannot be made between the 150-volt maximum of Burger’s research design and Milgram’s 450-volt maximum, Burger’s ‘obedience lite’ procedures can be used to explore further some of the situational variables studied by Milgram, as well as look at additional variables".

12 Effect on current research-Obedience lite
Jerry Burger-Santa Clara University No psychological background or familiarity with Milgram’s research Eliminated possible negative reaction participants Information about withdraw from the program with full payment Maximum:15 volts from the generator The results of the new experiment revealed that participants obeyed at the same rate that they did when Milgram conducted his original study more than 40 years ago.

13 Video of Milgram Obedience Study

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