One of the best known experiments in social psychology is the Milgram experiment . This served to know what was the level of obedience of the participant when he received orders from a superior.
This was published in 1963 by the psychologist Stanley Milgram, under the name of “Study of the behavior of obedience”. The idea arose after a trial of a Nazi militant for his crimes against humanity. The psychologist wondered if the officers of the Hitler regime were just following orders and therefore, how authority can prevail over our moral imperatives.
The subject or assigned teacher was instructed to teach the word pairs to the students, and if an error occurred, the student was punished by applying an electric shock greater than 15 volts after each error.
Apparently, the disciple did not receive any fright. However, to make the situation more realistic for the participants, after pressing the key, the pre-recorded sound with sobs, screams and increasing volume with each key is activated.
If the professor refuses or calls out to the researcher (who is standing next to him in the same room), he will respond with a predetermined and somewhat persuasive response: “Please continue”, “Please continue”, “The experiment needs you to continue”. continue”. “And if the subject asks who is in charge if something happened to the student, the experimenter simply answers that he was responsible.
Origin of the Milgram Experiment
Milgram recruited a total of 40 participants in the letter and newspaper advertisement. They were invited to take part in the “memory and learn” experience, so because of the simplicity part, a child will receive the four bucks (equivalent to about $28). Make sure they keep the payment “regardless of what they happen after they come.”
They are designed to know that three people were needed for the experience: researchers (wearing a white jacket and serving as an authority), teachers, and students. The volunteers are always attributed to the attraction of the teacher‘s error, while the role of the student will always be attributed to a military committee. Teachers and a student will be assigned to different rooms, but popularly, teachers are always watching students (who are still co-engaged) attached to a chair to “prevent unintentional movement” and teachers have been granted.
In the other part, in front of a power shock generator with thirty switches, it solves the resistance to the rush of 15 volts, ranging from 15 to 450 volts and, according to the researcher, it will provide services that the hospital is assigned to the students .
Guarantees the label indicates the force of discharge (medium, strong, dangerous: low discharge and xxx). In fact, the generator was said to be wrong because it did not provide any shock for the students and only created a sound when the switches were pressed.
The method of the experiment
Volunteers were sought for an experiment on memory and learning, nothing to do with the actual experiment. People ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s turned up, all from vastly different backgrounds, from undergraduates to PhDs.
The experiment is relatively simple. We can guide ourselves with the image above. To do it, three people are needed, the student (a collaborative actor), the teacher (the participant who read the ad, the actual subject of the experiment), and the experimenter (the actual researcher). This explains to the teacher what to do, it is about punishing the student every time he answers a question wrongly. In theory, both the student and the teacher are roles that are chosen at random, but the experiment is rigged, since the subject will necessarily play the role of teacher.
Everything gets complicated when the student is moved to another room separated by glass, tied to a chair and connected to some electrodes. You are warned that the downloads can be very painful but that they will not have irreversible consequences. This he mentions in front of the teacher.
The idea is that more and more electric shocks will be applied when the student fails the questions that will be asked. This will scream, ask for help and stop the experiment the higher the voltage. If the teacher asks not to continue, the investigator will imperatively tell him to continue, to see how far he can go.
Results of the Milgram Experiment
In the Milgram experiment, the intriguing thing is that 65% of the participants went all the way, 450 volts. Many felt nervous and uncomfortable doing so but they did not stop. All questioned the intention of the experiment but none refused to apply more damage before 300 volts.
One of the results of the experiment was the identification of a pattern. If the teachers shared a social context with the student, they stopped the experiment early.
One point to note is that no participant, after asking to stop the experiment, went to the next room to check that the student was well without first asking the researcher for permission.