File

Report
Groups &
Obedience
The Milgram Experiment
Sociology
Ms. Blackhurst
Today’s Plan
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Turn in “Status and Roles” Worksheet from Wednesday
Warm-up:

PICK UP A COPY OF “THE SCIENCE OF EVIL” FROM THE FRONT
DESK!!!
Complete the reading & question activity on the Milgram & Stanford
Experiments.
Class work:
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ABC Primetime Special “The Science of Evil”

Note/Question Activity

8 more school days until Spring Break!!!!
Warm-up:

What would it take to make you do
something that you normally would not?

Why do people do stupid things when
joining a frat during pledge week?
Reason for the Activity Yesterday
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Sociologists study groups of people, not just
individuals
Where you fit in a group can change how others
act when they are with you
Were you the leader? The teacher? The
submissive group member?
This experiment shows how people react when
they are given a new social status and social
role.
Primetime Basic Instincts Video
“The Science of Evil”

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'Primetime' Re-Creates a Famous
Experiment to Understand How Ordinary
People Can Perform Unthinkable Acts
Most of us have struggled to understand
how seemingly ordinary people can
sometimes do morally questionable things.
Do you have to be an evil person to do evil
things?
Primetime Basic Instincts Video
“The Science of Evil”
On a separate sheet of paper, do the following:
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
Take Notes to compare & contrast the
1960’s experiment with the new experiment
What were the findings of the new
experiment?
List & explain two examples from history
and current events where the accused
people have defended themselves with “I
was just doing my job.”
Objectives/ Outcomes:

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Discuss the need for conformity in a society
within the context of the problems that can arise
with following norms blindly.
Identify and explain the relationship between
norms and laws in society and the society’s
values.
Observe conditions in controlled environments
and explain the relationship between training
and the following of norms in a given society.
Compare and contrast theories of crowd
behavior
Milgram’s Obedience Experiment

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Early 1960’s
Yale social
psychologist
Dr. Stanley Milgram
Experiment
Obedience to
Authority vs. Personal
Conscience
Experiment Question


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Can a group cause a person to physically
punish a victim with severity despite the
victim’s pleas for mercy?
Milgram’s research answered “yes” to this
question.
Peer Pressure can cause people to treat
others in ways they otherwise would not!
Experiment Design

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Research teams
Experimenter and
learner are “in” on the
experiment
Teachers are not

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Teacher is instructed
to shock the learner
each time the learner
gets an answer
incorrect
Learner is an actor
who is told to get all
answers wrong
Experiment Design


Generator has 30
switches in 15 volt
increments labeled
from 15 volts to 405
volts
Also labeled ranging
from slight shock to
danger: severe shock
Experiment Design

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As the learner answered the
questions incorrectly, the
teacher was encouraged to
increase the power of the
shock.
Even as learners protested,
the teacher, under the
direction of the experimenter,
increased the shocks.
The learners did not really feel
the shocks. They were acting
but the teachers did not know
it.
Experiment Design
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As shocks became
stronger, the learner
“grunted, protested, and
finally demanded that the
experiment stop.”
Learner also shouted “I
can’t stand the pain!”
The teachers asked the
experimenters if they
should continue and when
told yes, they did continue
with the shocks!
Experiment Results
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65% of the teachers punished the learners to the
maximum 420 volts.
No teacher stopped before reaching 300 volts!
People, just like you and me, shocked others
because they were “following orders” and obeying
an authority figure.
Experiment Results
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Milgram set up a control group in which
there was not an experimenter in the room
with the teacher.
Shock voltage was much lower in this
control group.
Thus group pressure heavily influenced the
level of shock administration in the
experiment.
Shock Generator
Graph illustrating levels of shock
voltage

What conclusion can we draw from this graph?
Implications

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We did not need Milgram to tell us that we have a
tendency to obey orders.
But what we did not know before Milgram's
experiments was just how powerful this tendency
is.
And having been enlightened about our extreme
readiness to obey authorities, we can try to take
steps to guard against unwelcome or
reprehensible commands.
Implications
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Many professions have taken heed of Milgram's
work.
The US army, for example, now incorporates his
findings into its education of officers in order to
illuminate the issue of following unethical orders.
However, it is not clear that medicine has truly
understood the implications of Milgram's work.
How often are doctors or medical students in the
position of having to obey "orders" or implicit
expectations in hospitals or clinics, when they are
uneasy about the ethics of doing so?
Was it ethical?
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Teacher subjects were encouraged to hurt
others even when they expressed concern
about it
How did it affect them to hear the screams
and pleas of the learners and to think that
they were real?
How does this fit into
Roles/Status?
How do groups influence our
behavior?
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Have you ever been “egged on” by the
crowd?
Or done anything just because everyone
else did?
Have you ever done something that you
normally would not because you were
“following orders?”

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