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  • The study took place in a laboratory at Yale University. 14 Yale seniors were asked to predict obedience of a 100 hypothetical subjects.
  • 40 male participants 20-50 years old were all given the role of teacher in a fixed lottery. They watched the 'learner' get strapped into a chair with electrodes strapped to them. The teacher was given a trial of 45 volts.
  • The 'teacher' then sat in front of an electric shock generator in an adjacent room. He had to conduct a pair words test on the learner and give him an electric shock of increasing intensity each time he guessed incorrectly.
  • The 'learner' produced a set of predetermined responses to the shocks via a tape recording. Approximately three wrong to every correct answer. At 300 volts he pounded the wall and didn't respond again.
  • If the 'teacher' asked any questions during, the experimenter responded with a series of standardised prods eg. "please continue/ please go on".
  • The study finished when either the 'teacher' refused to continue (disobedient) or reached 450 volts (was obedient). All participants continued to 300 volts while 65% continued to 450 volts. All participants were then fully debriefed.
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