Milgram Shock Test

878 Words4 Pages
Task It’s 1961 and you are arriving at the doors of the Psychology Department of the prestigious Yale University in the USA. The reason you are here is that you replied to an advert in the local paper asking for volunteers to take part in a study on memory. The advert (see Figure 2.4) offered a fee plus expenses and said that you would be paid on arrival at the laboratory. As you walk through the doors you are met by a serious-looking man in a laboratory coat who turns out to be the experimenter. He introduces you to a genial middle-aged man who is described as a fellow volunteer. The experimenter explains that the study will involve one of the volunteers taking on the role of a ‘teacher’ and the other taking on the role of a ‘learner’ .As part of the experiment, the ‘teacher’ will engage the ‘learner’ in a simple memory task. The ‘learner’ and the ‘teacher’ will be in different rooms and will communicate through microphones (see Figure 2.5). The experimenter reveals that the study is designed to investigate the effect of punishment on learning. The ‘teacher’ will be asked to administer an electric shock to the ‘learner’ every time the latter makes an incorrect response on the memory task. To select who will be the ‘teacher’ and who will be the ‘learner’, you draw slips of paper. You pick out the ‘teacher’ slip. You then watch as the ‘learner’ is strapped into a chair, and you hear the experimenter tell him that ‘although the shocks can be extremely painful, they cause no permanent tissue damage’. The experimenter now gives you a sample shock of 45 volts to show you what the ‘learner’ will experience during the study. The shock is unpleasant, but short of being painful. The experimenter then takes you into the adjacent room and sits you down in front of an impressive-looking apparatus that will be used to administer the shocks (see Figure 2.6). Figure 2.5
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