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Chapter 26

Sociology 1020 Chapter Notes - Chapter 26: The Dilemma

Course Code
SOC 1020
Kim Luton

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Chapter 26 - Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
7 October 2011
- the Milgram experiment's goal was to find out how difficult it is to get otherwise decent
people to obey an order to harm another human being
- it isn't difficult at all
- someone that tells someone to do something (like harming someone) wouldn't do it
unless they were in a position of authority
- the study gives a dilemma contemporary form by treating it as a subject matter for
experimental inquiry
The Dilemma of Obedience:
- from 1933-1945, millions of people were killed because of Nazi Germany
- the people obeyed the orders given to them
- the idea of the experiment was that a person comes to a psychology laboratory and is
told to carry out a series of acts that come increasingly into conflict with conscience
- the main question was how for the participant will comply with the experimenter’s
instructions before refusing to carry out the actions required of him/her
- one person was the teacher, the other was the learner (played by an actor)
- the study was to see how punishment effects learning (what the participates were told)
- the learner was in a room where they were attached with electrode that would shock
them each time they got a question wrong
- the voltage would increase to each question they got wrong
- the teacher would be set up in a room where they would be in charge of the voltage
- the shock ranged from 15 volts - 450 volts
- when the question is answered correctly, they move on
- if they answered incorrectly, the teacher is to shock the learner, however the learner
really doesn't receive any shocks
- it was surprising on how for the teachers went without questioning the experiment
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