Tma 01 Part 1 Interpreting a Table & Part 2stanley Milgram’s Obedience Study and Its Implications for Student Nurses in the Workplace

Course: DSE141 Introducing Psychology
TMA 01 – Part 1: Summarising and Interpreting a Table.
Prior to Milgram’s study, psychiatrists and college students predicted average administered shock levels of
123 volts and 140 volts respectively, with widespread agreement that no ‘teacher’ would administer the
maximum 450 volts. The actual average level of shock administered was 368 volts with 65% of ‘teachers’
delivering 450 volts to the ‘learner’. The subsequent variation of the experiment used an ‘ordinary man’ to
instruct the ‘teacher’ resulting in an average shock level of 244 volts with only 20% of ‘teachers’ administering
450 volts. A second variation using two experimenters giving contradictory instructions to the ‘teacher’
resulted in an average shock level of 75 volts with no ‘teacher’ administering 250 volts.
These results suggest that in certain situations a clearly defined, respected and unchallenged authority figure
can prompt a majority of people to override their normal sense of a duty of care towards others. The
significant discrepancy between predictions and actual results of the study suggest that people are mostly
unable to accurately assess their own capacity to cause harm to others under certain conditions. The second
variation’s results suggest that most people do not want to harm others and will avoid causing harm when the
opportunity to do so arises.
Word Count: 200
TMA01 – Part 2: Short Report for Student Nurses.
Questioning Authority: Stanley Milgram’s obedience study and its implications for student nurses in
the workplace
Executive Summary
This report is produced with the intention of providing student nurses with an awareness of the dangers of
allowing their junior status and their professional respect for the authority of senior members of staff to
override their own sense of duty of care towards patients in their care.
Background to the report
In the 1960s Professor Stanley Milgram, of Yale University, Connecticut,...