Milgrams Study on Obedience to Authority and its relevance to the
The key element of this report will be related to Milgrams Study and how under certain cultural and societal norms people are prepared to act in a way that goes against what morally right and against what they know and believe and how this can be relevant to nursing.
Stanley Milgram 1933-84
In 1961 Milgram conducted his obedience studies (Milgram 1961). The experiment was to see if someone would be prepared to inflict, potentially fatal shocks on a fellow person when instructed to do so by a figure in authority. The original experiment, conducted in 1961, involved 40 non academic men, recruited via ads in a local newspaper, in a study purported to be about memory.
The experiment involved a teacher and a learner (an actor) in separate rooms with the learner strapped into a chair and wired into a generator. The teacher would then ask a number of questions related to memory recall via a microphone. If the learner answered incorrectly an electric shock was administered, by the teacher via, an elaborate apparatus. Although the teacher believed the shocks to be real they were in fact simulated. These simulated shocks were of an increasing scale, from 15v through to 450v and the more the learner answered incorrectly the higher the voltage.
Although most of the participants showed some signs of distress, especially when the learner was protesting and asking to be released, almost two thirds of the participants (65%) continued onto the maximum volts when encouraged to do so by the experimenter.
Of the 40 participants only 14 refused to continue to the end and the average voltage before stopping was 365v (Milgram 1961).
Milgrams varied his original study, he tested over 800 people between 1961-62 (Brace et-al 2010)....