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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Replication of Milgram Experiment

Since Milgram’s research which resulted in unexpected findings, other scholars conducted more studies related to obedience. These new studies aimed for furtuer understanding on human behaviors of obedience and atrocities.  Two significant researches after Milgram’s experiments are Philip Zimbardo’s Standard prison experiment and Jerry Burger’s replication of Milgram’s obedience research.  Additional studies supported Milgram’s findings in the original research.Several studies were replications of Milgram’s experiment; some studies were focused on different aspects of obedience behavior.  These researches contributed to further understanding about how and why people obey the authority.

In 2006, a partial replication of Milgram’s obedience research was conducted by Jerry Burger.  Since Milgram’s experiments, ethical concerns were raised and it was almost impossible to replicate exact procedures of Milgram’s experiments.  With a careful design, Burger managed to retain important aspects of Milgram’s methodology with reduction of maximum level of allowable shock from 450 to 150 volts (Miller, 2009).  The replication study showed only slightly lower obedience rates comparing to Milgram’s results 45 years ago.  In Burger’s experiment, 70 percent of participants went up to the maximum level of 150-volt point and they were still obeying.  The similarity between Burger’s and Milgram’s results suggests that “average Americans react to this laboratory situation today much the way they did 45 years ago” (Burger, 2009, p. 9).


Burger, J. M. (2009). Replicating Milgram: Would people still obey today?. American Psychologist, 64(1), 1-11. doi:10.1037/a0010932

Miller, A. G. (2009). Reflections on ‘Replicating Milgram’ (Burger, 2009). American Psychologist, 64(1), 20-27. doi:10.1037/a0014407

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