Stanley Milgram's Experiment Summary

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Jerry M Burger's replication in 2009 of Stanley Milgram's Obedience study (1963, 1965 and 1974) specifically experiment 5, attempted to recreate this controversial and influential research whilst avoiding the ethical issues that the original study brought into play. How close was this to the original? What are the parts of the original that Burger was unable to recreate? Did these alterations effect the results when compared to Milgram's? What follows is my selection and explanation of key similarity’s, those components of Burger's that match Milgram's, and major differences, where Burger's replication deviated from Milgram's methods.

One of the differences that stands out is at the very beginning of Burgers replication process. Burger's
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The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Burger 2006 citing Davis, 1983) the was to establish the participants level of empathy towards others in duress, Burger intended to see if there was any correlation between those that stopped the experiment short and there score on the empathy scale. Furthermore the applicants completed the Desirability of Control Scale (Burger & Cooper, 1979) this scale isolated a particular personality trait, the desire for an individual to feel in control of any given situation, Burger intended to search for parallels between participants actions during the experiment in relation to there score on this scale, would they be more likely to resist the influence of the experimenter if they produced a high score on the inventory. So we see that in using these scales all of which were developed after the original experiment by Milgram, Burger has started his replication with some significant alterations before the experiment proper has…show more content…
It is here again that Burger deviates from Milgram's methods although ultimately this was due to necessity. Participants in the original were instructed to administer shocks if the learner in the adjacent room could not correctly answer questions relating to the fake study on memory and punishment. They were unaware that no shocks were actually being administered. The device used to administer the shocks started at 15 volts and then each subsequent switch increased the voltage by increments of 15 up to and including 450 volts. The stress exhibited by the participants in Migram's experiment and documented by Milgram himself once published (Milgram,1974) caused outrage raising significant ethical issues in regards to the rights of those taking part in relation to The Nuremberg Code of ethics (Nicola Brace and Jovan Byford, 2012). Despite its critics Milgram's experiment was deemed as not breaching the code however if an attempt were made to replicate Milgram's experiment to its natural conclusion today (persuading participants to administer the full 450 volts) it would fail to meet the contemporary safeguards in place to protect the rights of the participant. Burger's solution was simple, the tipping point in the original experiment was reached at the
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