Photo from the Milgram Experiment

I should explain a bit more about the Milgram experiment, in case you haven’t heard of it.  A volunteer is told that he is taking part in an experiment that investigates the role of punishment when learning and is asked to operate an electro shock machine when a learner fails to memorise word pairs. The instructor and the learner are both actors, the electro shocks are not real – the volunteer is actually unknowingly being tested himself on how far he or she would go in hurting another person if instructed to do so by an authority. The Milgram experiment is still today much debated due to its initially unexpected results; each time the basic experiments results in a high percentage (65%) of participants who are willing to cause fatal harm to the tested person if instructed to do so by an authority person. It has been criticised for various reasons, for its research ethics, as the volunteer is tricked into believing the electroshocks as well as the memory test are real, as well as the way the results have been interpreted. However until today the Milgram experiment is one of the most well known social psychology experiments, for its critical responses as well as horrific results. And it is still referred to as an example of behaviours in context of power, abuse of power, hierarchies and obedience.

Here is a little sketch that I’ve made based on the original diagram of the experiment.