How and Why Milgram's Research on Obedience Contributed to Our Understanding of Human Behaviour

Part 1 Interpreting a table

Table (adapted from Milgram, 1974, cited by DSE141 assessment booklet, p11) puts together prediction of average voltage at which 'teachers' would disobey experimenter to continue and percentage of 'teachers' using the maximum shock level -by psychiatrists, students and middle class adults and the results of the original study and its three variations:
• 'teacher' being in the same room as 'learner',
• 'teacher holding hands of learner on shock plate,
• 'teacher' choosing shock level.

The results shows that:
• the mean of   voltage used before the participants would withdrawn that was predicted by three groups was about 133.
• the figure from the original study was more then double.
• it has decreased   with subsequent variations, being the lowest on the last one
• no member of three groups predicted any of the participants using maximum   voltage
• in original study 65% of participants followed till the end
• again, the amount of maximum voltage has decreased with variations, being dramatically lowest   at the last: only 2.5% did not disobeyed the experimenter.

The results clearly shows that variations had a big impact on the results. The amount of voltage was going down with the proximity of teacher to learner. The last variation showed that experimenter has little influence on participants.

Part 2 Report: How and why Milgram's research on obedience contributed to our understanding of human behaviour.

The report aims to:
• summarise the Milgram study on obedience and explain how it helped to understand human behaviour.

• Stanley Milgram influenced by what happened in Nazi Germany during the WW2 wanted to find out to which degree people would follow orders from authority.(Banyard, 2010)

The experiment
• Organizers published an advertisement inviting people to take part in study of memory
• 40 men from different background were tested.
• Volunteers were invited individually to...