Milgrim Aimed to investigate whether Americans would obey orders from an authority figure. he recruited 40 male participants for his lab experiment, they were all aged 20-50 and were paid $4.50
Participants were met by the experimenter and introduced to the confederate Mr Wallace. The experimenter explained the punishment would be in the form of electric shocks
Hi I'm Mr Wallace
the "teacher" was ordered to deliver a shock each time mr Wallace made a mistake . his answer was shown on one of four lights which each mistake the teacher had to give the next highest shock. the teacher was given a sample shock of 45v which was the only real shock.
If the "teacher" asked to stop, or questioned Mr Wallaces health, the experimenter had a set of responses . 1. Please Continue 2. The Experiment requires that you continue 3. It is absolutely essential that you continue 4. you have no other choice, you must go on. The experiment was only ever stopped if the participant refused to continue after the 4th prod
Mr Wallace gave mainly wrong answers and received his (fake) shocks. At 300v Mr Wallace pounded on the wall joining the two rooms, next he cried out and complained his heart was bothering him. finally he fell silent and gave no responses.
Pilgrim found that 100% of participants continued until 300v and 65% continued to the maximum 450v. Pilgrim concluded that we are all capable of committing harmful acts. Pilgrim suggested that obedience occurs due to situational factors rather dispositional factors. therefore pilgrims research was important for dispelling the views that germans were bad people.