Milgrams Research on Obedience and Its Relevance for Professionals Working

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Milgrams research on obedience and its relevance for professionals working with the public today Report aims to: * Provide a brief background on Stanley Milgram. * What Milgram did and why. * Discuss issues raised by Milgram’s research. * Explain why Milgram’s work on obedience is relevant today. Background Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) was born to Jewish parents who immigrated to New York from Europe. Milgram studied Psychology at Harvard University and in 1961, inspired by the horrors of the Second World War began work looking at the moral question, ‘what makes people do harm to others’? He devised a unique experiment that put volunteers in a moral dilemma (Banyard 2012). Milgram’s Obedience Study: * Procedure: Milgram advertised for male volunteers aged between 20 and 50, to participate in what they believed to be a scientific memory study at Yale University. * Milgram developed a fake ‘shock generator’ consisting of switches starting at 15volts increasing to a maximum of 450volts. Also involved in the experiment were two other people who were in on the deception, one played the ‘experimenter’, dressed in a laboratory coat, and the other the ‘learner’. * The volunteers were always ‘teachers’, they had to teach the ‘learner’ to remember word pairs. They witnessed the ‘learner’ being strapped to a chair, and also had to experience a 45v shock to sense what the learner would feel. * For every incorrect answer the experimenter would order the ‘teacher’ to administer a shock increasing with every wrong answer. Even though the ‘learner’ complained of pain and demanded to be released the experimenter would insist the ‘teacher’ continue. * The learner was not being shocked, and his voice only a recording. * Results: Before his study Milgram asked a group of students to predict the result, he also introduced

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