Milgram introduced the participant to the confederate; the confederate was thought to be another participant. They were then "randomly" given the role of either teacher or learner (the participant was always the teacher) and were told what they had to do.
Hi, I'm the learner.
Hi, I'm the teacher.
This is a memory test. The teacher will ask the learner memory related questions.
The learner was sent into another room and the teacher was told that the learner was being hooked up to a shock machine and that every time they gave an incorrect answer (or no answer) they were to administer a shock ranging from 15V to 450V.Ech time a shock was given the learner gave a response of pain and, if the teacher refused to continue, the experimenter gave them prompts.
Ouch, that hurt!
The experiment requires you to continue.
I want to stop!
After the experiment was over, Milgram showed the participant that the learner was fine and hadn't actually been harmed. He then explained the true nature of the study and debriefed his participants on what had happened and his results. He also offered help to those who needed it.
I don't know why I kept shocking you! I'm so embarrassed.