Obedience experiment – milligram

Yale University psychologist Dr. This experiment by Stanley Milgram,

It was made in July 1961 (3 months after the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal) to understand “how people submit to authority”.

The subjects are characterized as teacher-student. It is placed in separate rooms. Communication between teacher and student is only through sound.

In fact, the only subject here is “teacher”. The person who is in the position of “Student”; is the player who is part of the experiment.

When the “teacher” (subject) gives a wrong answer to the student placed in a separate room, he thinks that the electricity he applies causes more wrong answers to be measured.

However, what is wanted to be tried in this experiment is to measure how cruel the “teacher” (subject) can be towards the “student” (player) whom he has never met before, and whether he can take the experiment to the end even if he knows it is wrong.

First of all, a mechanism is placed next to the teacher where he can apply electricity to the student. And the student is taken to a separate room.

In every question directed by the teacher (subject) to the student (player), if the wrong answer is given, electricity is given, starting from 15 volts. It is said that the energy of the shock given increases as the number of mistakes increases.

When the teacher, who is in the position of the subject, wants to stop the experiment, unable to stand the screams and sounds of making out, the following sentences are said to him by the researcher (authority) after each request:

Please go on.

You have to continue with the experiment.

It is really important that you continue.

You have no other choice, you have to continue.

With the increasing electric shock, the teacher listens to the student’s begging sounds. Despite this, the teacher (subject) who continues is made to listen to the student’s voice, which is suddenly cut off, in the next stage.


The result of the experiment that emerged was truly terrifying. The teacher (subjects) followed the instructions of the Researcher (authority) until the end and gave the 450 volt maximum shock to the same person for the 3rd time. There were those who continued to shock by increasing their intensity even after the sound stopped.

(All of the people participating in the experiments were normal people. None of them had sadism or similar psychological disorders or personality disorders.)

Milgram evaluated the results of the experiment as follows;

“Only ordinary people who do their duty, who don’t engage in brutal work on their own, can become part of a gruesome extermination. Few have the potential to reject authority in these tasks that conflict with their core moral values, even though they clearly see the devastating consequences of their work.”

This experiment showed that;

Individuals can do actions that are completely against their characters without thinking before the authority.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.