The table shows that the predictions made by college students (140 volts) and middle-class adults (136 volts) were far below the average results recorded. On the original study when the 'teacher' had the physical presence of one authoritative figure the percentage that used maximum voltage were 65.0 per cent and the average level of shock at which ‘teachers’ refused to continue was 368 vaults, over twice the predicted. On the first variation an ordinary man was giving orders and this had dramatic effects, the percentage using maximum volts reduced to 20% and the average level of shock at which ‘teachers’ refused to continue reduced to 244 volts. On the second variation an authoritative person was giving orders but there was no physical presence, causing the percentage using maximum volts to only increase to 20.5% but the average level of shock at which ‘teachers’ refused to continue did increase to 272 volts.
To summarise, the vast majority of 'teachers' had to have the physical presence of an authoritative person for them to go against their will and 'shock' the 'learner', if the experimenter was giving commands over the phone there wasn't as much pressure to obey and if a normal person was giving commands there was no pressure at all.
This hand-out will explain the importance of having authoritative figure when obedience is required, explained in terms of the results of a renowned study by Stanley Milgram.
Milgram’s study took place in Yale University, advertising a paid memory study in the local newspaper to obtain a sample. Two participants were used in the original study at any one time. Participants were introduced to another participant, who was really a confederate (working with the experimenter), by a serious, grey coated man who was the experimenter. Both had a role to play, a ‘teacher’ who...