Login

Obedience and Authority

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Group Behavior

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:23 Milgram's Experiment
  • 1:25 Obedience
  • 1:50 Authority
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Polly Peterson
What types of social situations make it more likely that we'll obey authority? You'll observe Milgram's electric shock experiment and what it revealed about the relationship between obedience and authority.

How far would you go to obey authority? Would you go against your own conscience?

Milgram's Obedience Experiment

Psychologist Stanley Milgram
Milgrams Experiment

Perhaps one of the most famous psychological experiments of all time, Stanley Milgram's controversial obedience study set out to demonstrate the extent to which people follow the instructions of authority figures. Forty male volunteers between the ages of 20 and 50 were told that they were involved in a learning experiment and were directed to administer electric shocks by flipping a switch when the actor in a separate room responded with a wrong answer. Unbeknownst to the participants, the actor was actually not being shocked but was acting as though he was.

The participants were instructed by this Yale scientist to increase the level of intensity by 15 volts each time the actor answered incorrectly. Five of the 40 of the participants refused to continue after 300 volts when the actor screamed and banged on the wall, acting as if he was in excruciating pain.

  • The actor shouts phrases such as 'Let me out of here!' and 'You have no right to keep me here!' The participant turns away from the switch apparatus to look toward the shouting.
  • Speaking over the actor, the scientist says calmly, 'Continue, please.'
  • The participant mumbles something. The actor is still shouting.
  • The scientist says calmly, 'Go on,' while the actor yells.
  • The participant turns back to the switch apparatus. He mumbles something that includes the phrase 'be responsible for it.'

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support