Solved IGNOU Assignment >> MPC004 >> Q10

10. What were the findings of Milgram’s experimental study of human obedience?

Findings of Milgram’s experimental study of human obedience

Results of the experiment

· 100% participants applied shocks up to 300 volts - point at which the learner began to shout in apparent pain.
· 35% applied shocks of between 300 and 375 volts, but then refused to apply any more.
· 65% continued the experiment to the end, applying the maximum shock of 450 volts as many times as requested.

Explanation

The inclination to obey authority figures is an important factor in determining behavior, even in extreme circumstances. Obeying the “scientist” was violating participants’ sense of morality and negatively affecting them both physically and emotionally, but the pressure to comply was simply too powerful to defy in most cases.

Milgram also turned to the theory of conformism - when a person has neither the ability nor expertise to make a decision, he will look to the group to decide how to behave. Conformity can limit and distort an individual’s response to a situation, and seems to result in a diffusion of responsibility.

The conflict between a person’s conscience and external authority exerts a huge internal pressure, which accounted for the extreme distress experienced by the participants.

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