Results of the Milgram Experiment

Although a team of psychiatrists predicted that only about one-tenth of 1 percent of the participants in the Milgram obedience research would fully obey the experimenter's commands and administer the highest shock level on the generator, to Milgram's astonishment, 65 percent of the participants (26 out of 40) fully obeyed the experimenter's commands completely, despite the convincing cries of agony from the learner. In addition, all participants who reached 450 volts obeyed the experimenter's command to continue by using the 450-volt switch until the experiment ended. Furthermore, all subjects obeyed up until 300 volts (Franzoi 299).

 

Shock Levels at Which Milgram's Participants Disobeyed (n=40) Compared to Predicted Disobedience by Psychiatrists

Voltage
Acual Number of Defectors
Percentage
Actual Cumulative Percent of Defectors
Predicted Cumulative Percent of Defectors
75
0
0.0
0.0
15
135
0
0.0
0.0
44
150
0
0.0
0.0
68
210
0
0.0
0.0
86
300
5
12.5
12.5
96
315
4
10.0
22.5
96
330
2
5.0
27.5
97
345
1
2.5
30.0
99
360-435
2
5.0
35.0
99
450
0
0.0
35.0
99.9

 

Source: Data from S. Milgram, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc. 1974; and S. Milgram, The Individual in a Social World: Essays and Experiments, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1992. (as cited in Franzoi 299).

 

Stanley Milgram Homepage
About the obedience experiment
Follow-up Studies
Biography of Stanley Milgram: his life and work
The Results
Interpretations of the Results
Basis for the experiment

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