behavior, or a change in belief,
in response to group influence.
Made a line test
When a person is by
himself or herself and
asked to determine which
line matched the
standard, there was only
a 1% error rate.
But when there were confederate who gave
an incorrect response, 75 % of the subjects conformed
at least once in 12 trials.
a person who works for the experimenter.
this case, the
confederate gave the correct
answer at first, then began
giving giving wrong answers, thus
causing the participants to
conform to a group member.
humans ability to obey
experiments sought to
illuminate how it was that
Nazi Germany was able to
inflict such harm and pain on
so many innocent
in Miligram's experiments were told that he was investigating
learning. The participants believed that they
were administering increasingly strong electrical
shocks to another participant when that participant
failed to remember a previously presented word.
Unknown to the participants
was the fact that the other person was a research
assistant who was pretending to be shocked, screaming
as the shocks grew more and more painful.
Although before the experiment
was run, people thought that only a small number of
individuals would administer the maximum shock.
Milgram found that about 63% of the participants
fully complied with their instruction to continue
shocking until the experiment was completed.
was highest when
- the person giving the orders was close and
perceived to be a legitimate authority figure
- the authority figure was supported by a prestigious
institution. (Milgram got somewhat less
compliance when he dissociated his experiments
from Yale University.)
- The victim was depersonalized or at a distance,
even in another room. Similarly, many soldiers
either do not fire their rifles or do not aim
them properly in combat with an enemy they can
see. Such refusals to kill are rare among
those who operate the more distant weapons of
artillery or aircraft.
- There were no role models for defiance; that
is, no other subjects were seen disobeying the
- Blind obedience is
not limited to the
fascist mentality, rather
it is a basic instinct, a
method of social norms.