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If Hitler Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger, Would You? Pr

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Paige Holtz

on 1 November 2013

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Transcript of If Hitler Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger, Would You? Pr

If Hitler Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger, Would You? Probably
by Philip Meyer

Main Concepts
Questions
Summary
In this reading, Milgram brings in a "teacher" and a "learner" to participate in an experiment. The "teacher" would administer electric shocks to the "learner" in an attempt to see how far a person was willing to allow themselves to be pushed before they would walk out of the experiment.
Thesis
"The Shirer thesis, which Milgram set out to test, is that [society has] a basic character flaw...a readiness to obey authority without question" (71).
The Milgram
Experiment
Stanley Milgram
Social Psychologist
The Milgram Experiment
Main Concepts
Intended, initially, to be carried out in New Haven on Americans and then in Germany on Germans to compare obedience levels.
Main Concepts Cont.
A book entitled "The Teaching-Learning Process" was planted on a table to make the volunteers think it had something to do with the experiment.
Main Concepts Cont.
Milgram sent out a questionnaire asking participants if they were glad, sad, or neutral about being in the study:
83.7% were glad, 15% neutral, and 1.3% were sorry.
Questions 1 & 2
Question 3
At one point Milgram placed the "teacher" and the "learner" in the same room as one another. The script was changed so that at 150 volts (Intense Shock), the "learner" took his or her hand of the shock plate and yelled that they wanted out. The experimenter was to tell the "teacher" to grab the "learner's" hand and place it back on the shock plate, physically force it down if needed. 12/40 people obeyed with this. That's 30%. Do you feel you would?
Question 4
What played more of a role in making the "teacher" continue to administer the shocks: the pressure of the experimenter or the "learner's" painful screams?
Jessica Groenevelt
Kendra Hillier
Paige Holtz

Tested the Shirer thesis at Yale University in 1960
Studied at Harvard University
Died December 20, 1984
Born August 15, 1933
Motivated by scientific curiosity
What do you think the long-term outcome would have been if Milgram had gone through with his initial plan to test American and German obedience and compare the two? (think about opinions different peoples have about each other and hold against one another)
Jewish
Volunteers were paid $4.50, no matter what happened, if they dropped out of the experiment or not.
Milgram decided to take the experiment out of the lab after his first set of tests were completed. He wanted to see if the setting of the experiment would affect the results.
The generator was marked to note the power of the shocks to intimidate the teacher into not moving on with the experiment.
Conclusion
Society's pressure on people is constantly influencing them to do things.
"They [society] are locked into a structure, and they do not have the skills or inner resources to disengage themselves" (74).
This study proves that you would most likely inflict harm on a person, sometimes deadly harm, JUST because someone is telling you to (holocaust).
"Some people are psychologically incapable of disengaging themselves" (75).
Milgram did a second round of tests in Bridgeport to see if the setting would have an effect on the obedience levels. A more prestigious setting yielded more obedience. As a less prestigious setting yielded less obedience.
48% stayed for max shock at Bridgeport vs. 65% at Yale.
What is your opinion on Milgram's Experiment?
Full transcript