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STANLEY MILGRIM’S EXPERIMENT

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1 STANLEY MILGRIM’S EXPERIMENT

2 The Milgram Obedience Studies Time frame: Experimental Question:  Under what conditions will people carry out the commands of an authority figure and when will they refuse to obey? -Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of Obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology -Milgram, S (1965) Some conditions of obedience and disobedience to authority. Human Relations, 18, 57-76

3 Stanley Milgrim’s Video  Resource: Resource: OR OR Overview of video:  approx. 10 minutes  General information of thought provoking ideas/concerns/questions and etc. Assignment: As you watch the video…  Please write down under your Note sections, 3 critical issues/ideas you learned by watching the video. You will be asked to share your thoughts on what you witnessed. You must also formulate 2 questions regarding the video to ask the class.

4 Milgram Study Setup  Subjects were told that they were participating in a study on the effect of punishment on memory  One “participant” in the study- the-”learner”  The teacher was given a list of “paired associates”  The teacher was told to shock the learner when the learner gave an incorrect response.  The “learner” is hooked up to what appears to be a shock generating machine with 30 switches labeled from “Slight Shock” to “Danger: Severe Shock”  The “teachers” were given a shock of 45 volts to convince them that the shocks were real  The “learners” response to the questions is scripted(and played back on a tape recorder)  At 150 volts the “ learner” is heard asking that the experiment stop[

5 Milgram Study Setup  Experimenter prompts: if the “teacher” objected to continuing the experiment, the experimenter’s script included the following prompts: PROMPTS:  Please continue or Please go on  The experiment requires that you continue  It is absolutely essential that you continue  You have no other choice, you must go on

6 Milgram Study Results  Milgram: There were powerful reactions of tension and emotional strain in a substantial proportion of the participants. Persons were observed to sweat, tremble, stutter, bite their lips…” Remarks from two subjects:  Is he banging? Is he hurt out there? Well, I don’t want to be responsible for anything that happens to him. No, I can’t go on with it. I don’t know whether he’s all right or not. I mean he may have a heart condition or something. I wouldn’t feel right doing it…I don’t see any sense to this…I just can’t see it.

7 Milgram’s Study Results  The experimental setup was described to 40 psychiatrists. They predicted that no on would go beyond the 10 th level (150 volts)  Actual results: 65% of the subjects obeyed the experimenter and shocked the “learner” all the way to 450 volts(“Severe Shock”)  No difference between men and women

8 Milgram: What You May Not Have Heard  The “learner”, Mr. McDonough, died of a heart attack three years after the studies ended. His neighbor, who unsuccessfully tried to revive him using mouth to mouth resuscitation, had been a “teacher” in the Milgram studies and had administered “shocks” to Mr. McDonough just a few years earlier.  One of the “teachers” (who had gone all the way to 450 volts) was invited into a social psychology class to speak about his experience in the study. The students(who had already learned about the study) were nearly silent and stared at him with accusing and disbelieving eyes. He reminded the class that you never know what you might have done in that situation. - “Beyond the Shock Machine” –Gina Perry

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10  Obedience to Authority 1. “…our culture socializes individuals to obey certain authority figures such as police officers, teachers, and parents. 2. The perceived expertise of the experimenter contributed to the participants’ decision to follow the instructions.

11 Why Did People Obey?  A Need For Consistency  A Change In Self – Perception  Escalation Of Commitment  Limited Sources Of Information  Responsibility Had Not Been Assigned  Proximity Of The Learner

12 Are you capable of treating people like this?? Take 1minute and ask your self the above question in regards to the Stanford Prison Experiment? Be ready to share your answer.  YES or NO?  WHY or WHY NOT?

13 The Robbers Cave Experiment Muzafer Sherif et al (1954)  NOW read the, The Robbers Cave Experiment Muzafer Sherif et al (1954)  Be ready to give feedback in a class discussion.

14 What do these pictures tell us about obedience to authority?

15 Are you capable of treating people like this?? Questions to ask yourself… Take out a piece of paper and write down your answers to the following 10 questions below. 1. How do you respect yourself? (List 5…) 2. How do you respect others? (List at least 5…) 3. Do you recognize others flaws and exploit them?? …rumors… 4. When someone tells you that their hurt or in pain, how do you demonstrate empathy or show sympathy? 5.Write down 1 incident when you were told to do something you KNEW was wrong either morally, ethically but you did it anyway. 6. State the reason WHY you went a long with it even though it was wrong? Would you do it again? 7. Have you ever tried to convenience someone or persuade them to do something they did NOT want to do? 8. How do you show appreciation to yourself? Or to others? 9. Do you undermine authority secretly thinking your getting away with something? 10. Have you learned from your past mistakes?

16 Results of Milgrim’s Experiment  Conditions that decrease obedience 1. Prestige of the experimenter 2. Disobedient models

17 Results of Milgrim’s Experiment  The RESULTS, AS SEEN and felt in the laboratory, are disturbing. They raise the possibility that human nature, or more specifically the kind of characters produced in American society, cannot be counted as insulate its citizens from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority.  A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do irrespective of the content the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from legitimate authority.


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