Why Milgram's Research on Obedience Is Relevant to Preparing Student Nurses for Working on Hospital Wards

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This table shows the findings of Milgrams Study of Obedience. The original study was conducted to find out if ordinary members of the public would obey orders given to them by a person they perceived to be in authority. There were variations on the original study, there are two examples in the table, experimenters giving contradictory orders and a person they believe to be another volunteer giving orders. In the table we can see that a group of psychiatrists and college students were asked how far they predicted the volunteers were willing to go in shocking the 'learners'. While the psychiatrists believed that 123 volts would be the average at which the volunteers stopped, the students predicted 140 volts. Neither group believed that anyone would be willing to go to maximum volts. The actual results are surprisingly and worryingly different. In the original study 65% went up to maximum volts, the average at which they stopped being 368 volts. Taking away the authority figure (variation 1) this figure went down to 20% to maximum volts and 244% the average. Having two experimenters giving contradictory orders (variation 2) the figure goes down to 0% to maximum volts and the average 75%. Introduction World War 2 facilitated unimaginable atrocities, the Holocaust and Adolph Hitler. Men in ‘authority’ have engineered mass suicides such as in 1978 when James Warren Jones leader of the Peoples Temple at Jonestown Guyana instructed 928 people and 200 children to drink cyanide. More recently, 87 Branch Dividians were killed while under the influence of David Koresh in Waco, Texas. In order to try and understand the Holocaust authoritarian phenomenon, Dr. Stanley Milgram PhD set upon one of the most famous psychology studies often referred to as the ‘electric shock treatment’ study. . The aim of the 1963 study was to show how

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