Search Holah

Core Studies






A video narrated by Stanley Milgram which documents this classic study can be bought from






You can buy the classic studies dvd from online classroom which features original footage from the Holocaust and Stanley Milgram?s study, with a clear commentary from Dr. Philip Zimbardo that gives fascinating insights into Milgram and his motivation.



You can download a pdf copy of the original study here.



Not surprising there are many useful interweb related links to Milgram. Stanley Milgram was a remarkable scientist and this site by Dr Thomas Blass provides an overview of Dr Milgram?s life and work. has some excellent teacher produced resources for teachers here.



A re-enactment of the apparatus and procedure used in Milgram?s classic obedience studies has been carried out and you can find some great pictures here.





A recent attempt has been made to replicate Milgram?s classic experiment. Mel Slater et al. (2006) recreated the experiment using virtual reality. Mel Slater and colleagues tested participants? willingness to administer electric shocks to a computer animated woman in a virtual reality environment. You can read the experiment here.


Home > Social > The Milgram Page

The Milgram Page

Milgram. S (1963) Behavioural Study of Obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-78.

On this page you should find lots of useful stuff to help you in your learning of the obedience study.

Here is the most important page. Click here for a summary and evaluation of the Milgram experiment.

This page has lots of Core Studies Section A past questions that you might want to practice. Please don?t email me for the answers.

Here is a multi-choice quiz a crossword a number matching quiz a true or false quiz, a match the prods quiz and a match the people quiz to test your knowledge of the study.

Here is an old school comprehension exercise.

And here is a great page on Jamie?s uber psychblog where you can read the original study and much more about this wonderful study.

Psychclips has a collection of youtube style videos relating to Milgram.







Below is a much briefer summary of Milgram?s study.

The aim of Milgram?s (1963) experiment was to investigate what level of obedience would be shown when participants were told by an authority figure to administer electric shocks to another person.

The participants consisted of 40 males aged between 20 and 50 years of age who were recruited by a newspaper and direct mail advertisement which asked for volunteers to participate in a study of memory and learning at Yale University.

Each participant turned up to the laboratory alone and was asked to draw a slip of paper from a hat to determine which role he would play. The draw was rigged so the participant was always the teacher and Mr. Wallace (the confederate) was always the learner.

The teacher (participant) and learner were taken to a room and in full view of the teacher (participant) the learner was strapped into the ?electric chair?. The experimenter explained to the teacher (participant) that the straps were to prevent excessive movement while the learner was being shocked; the effect was to make it impossible for him to escape the situation. An electrode was attached to the learner?s wrist and electrode paste (cream) was applied ?to avoid blisters and burns?. The participant (teacher) was told that the electrode was attached to the shock generator in the adjoining room. The participant (teacher) then heard the experimenter tell the learner ?although the shocks can be extremely painful, they cause no permanent tissue damage?.

Milgram created a phoney ?shock generator? which in the 1960s looked very impressive and realistic. The phoney shock generator had 30 switches marked clearly in 15 volt increments from 15 to 450 volts.

The participant (teacher) was then seated in an adjacent room in front of the shock generator and asked to read a series of word pairs to the learner. The learner was asked to learn (memorise) these pairs. The participant (teacher) then tested the learner by giving him one of the words in a pair along with four other words. The learner had to indicate which of the four words had originally been paired with the first word. The learner?s answer was communicated by pressing one of four switches which illuminated a light on top of the shock generator. If the answer was correct the participant (teacher) had to move onto the next word on the list, if the answer was wrong the participant had to tell the learner the correct answer and then the level of punishment that they were going to give them. They would then press the first switch on the shock generator (15 volts). For every subsequent incorrect answer the participant was required to move one switch up the scale of shocks (15 volts higher than the voltage of the last shock delivered).

If the participant asked advice from the experimenter, whether it be; ?should I continue administering shocks?, or some other indication that he did not wish to go on, he would be given encouragement to continue with a sequence of standardised ?prods? such as ?Please continue? or ?The experiment requires that you continue?

All 40 of the participants obeyed the experimenter and delivered shocks up to 300 volts. 26 of the 40 participants delivered shocks up to the maximum 450 volts.

After the maximum shock had been administered, the participant was asked to continue at this level until the experimenter eventually called a halt to the proceedings, at which point many of the obedient participants heaved sighs of relief or shook their heads in apparent regret.

During the study many participants showed signs of nervousness and tension. Participants sweated, trembled, stuttered, bit their lips, groaned, dug fingernails into their flesh, and these were typical not exceptional responses. Quite a common sign of tension was nervous laughing fits (14 out of 40 participants), which seemed entirely out of place, even bizarre. Full-blown uncontrollable seizures were observed for three participants

Milgram put forward a number of possible explanations for this high level of obedience. Including the fact that the experiment took place at the prestigious Yale University, that the participant believed that the experiment was for a worthy purpose and that the participant believed the victim had volunteered to be in the study and therefore has an obligation to take part even if the procedures become unpleasant.