1. Stanley Milgram: click on Authority Link. Please summarize study. Similar to Solomon Asch summary.
Here are the titles
3. Research question
2. Read: Its Kind of a Funny Story Read through chapter 20.
3. Please read the article below from Psychology Today.What Would YOU Do?
Students who learn about Milgram’s research have several standard responses. They are partly outraged. They are partly surprised. Interestingly, a common theme that also tends to emerge is this: Students often comment that “they themselves wouldn’t have obeyed the experimenter.” They come up with all kinds of reasons on this point.
My wife Kathy, also a social psychologist, and I were curious about this particular point. Of course, in our discussion, I stated that I would not have obeyed the experimenter. Similarly, she maintained that SHE would not have obeyed the commands – but that she thought I would have. Ha!
So being experimental social psychologists ourselves, we designed a study to explore this issue. Along with two great students, Sara Hubbard Hall and Jared Legare, we studied perceptions of what people think they would do in Milgram’s experiment (Geher et al., 2002).
In this research, we briefly described the methodology of Milgram’s study and asked participants to indicate on a scale of 0 to 450 volts the point at which they thought that they would disobey the experimenter. The truth is that more than 60% of the participants in Milgram’s research “shocked all the way” (to 450 volts). We also asked our participants to indicate the highest shock level that they would predict that a “typical other person of their same age and gender” would go up until before disobeying the experimenter.
The results? Shocking! On average, people indicated that they would stop at about 140 volts, whereas they predicted that “typical others” would stop obeying at about 210 volts. That is a difference of 35%. In other words, on average, people think that they are about 35% more likely to “do the right thing” compared with “typical others.” People seem to be biased to think of themselves as somehow better than average (see McFarland & Miller (1990)) – and our results pretty clearly tell such a tale.