Outline and Evaluate research in to Obedience

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Outline and Evaluate research in to Obedience:

Milgram carried out research into obedience in 1963. He used a volunteer sample to gather 40 male volunteers that were given the incentive of $4.50. The participants were deceived into believing that they were giving electric shocks to a learner, that was, in reality a confederate. They believed that giving the shocks was a part of a study that was researching the role of punishment in learning.

The participants were under the impression that the learner’s task was to memorise a series of words, and for every incorrect answer the participant was instructed to administer a shock that increased by an interval of 15 volts with every mistake made. In reality no shocks were administered but the participants were led to believe the contrary. The confederate, to begin with, answered correctly but then begun to make mistakes and the highest shock in volts that the participant was willing to administer was recorded. The experiment therefore stopped either when the participant refused to give any more shocks or when the highest voltage of 450 volts had been given four times.
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It was found that 100% of participants went to at least 300 volts and 65% of participants went the whole way to 450 volts. It was clear that most of the participants found the experiment a stressful experience with some showing signs of high anxiety, yet they carried on with the experiment.

The fact that the participants were deceived and fully informed consent was not obtained naturally presents ethical issues but in doing so reduces the likelihood of demand characteristics. Yet despite this it can be argued that demand characteristics might have had an effect on participants. ...

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