- Now how will I know how much pain he is feeling? ... sorry Nick.- Well you won’t. That’s not really the point of the exercise. [That’s not germane!] The pointof the exercise is to see how he learns.... So this is the shock generator.
The teacher is then taken next door, and shown the generator...
- You can sit down now and just make yourself comfortable.
... which goes from 15 all the up to 450 volts. That’s almost twice the mains voltage in the UK..
- So you’ll read those things.
The teachers are given a list of word pairs, which the learner is expected to memorize. Each time thelearner gets a multiple choice question wrong, the teacher is told to increase the voltage of the shocks.
- Now just do that. I’m going to give you a little shock so you know what it feels like.
To reinforce the subject’s belief that the generator is real, they are given a 45 volt shock.
- I’m scared!- Don’t be scared, alright. Here we go.- Oh, ok, yep.-Significant?- Yeah fairly. Not enough to kill me just yet, so that’s okay.
When the procedure continues, there is an awareness clearly in the mind of the teacher that there is apotential for the victim to be experiencing quite high levels of pain.
- Yellow, flower- Strong, coffee
The point of the Milgram experiment is to see if the teachers will call a stop to the test, or obey the professor and inflict extremely painful shocks in the belief that they’re advancing science.
- That was correct.... Fast... Is it a) train, b) car, c) aero plane, d) journey?[buzz]- Sorry. It’s 195 [volts].- Oh!- If that’s him shouting, I can’t go on. Sorry.- Well, the thing is, the shocks do involve pain, but the experiment requires that youcontinue. So please go on.- There is no permanent tissue damage.- Sorry?- There is no permanent tissue damage.- I know, but I do... I do... I really don’t want to give pain like this.- Please just continue.- Okay Nick. If you’re happy to continue, we’ll carry on.- No... I’m… I’m... I’m not. I can’t go on. I can’t go on. Sorry, I’m going to have to give it up.Cause I’m not going to do this.- I fully understand, but the experiment requires that you go on.- Sorry Nick. That was wrong. Hmm. It’s 225 volts. I’m going to press it quickly. If you don’twant to go on you don’t have to press the next button.- Let me out. The shock’s starting to bother me here.- Right, okay... That’s it. I can hear him. I can’t go on.- Are you terminating the experiment?- Yes.
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