One example of this is a partial replication
of Milgram (1963) conducted by Burger (2009). This study replicated Milgram in
as many ways as it ethically could, however it made several changes in the
procedure of the study. In Milgram’s
study, shocks went up to 450V so many participants became distressed towards
the end, which was unethical. Burger noted that in Variation
5 of Milgram’s experiment, all the participants who dropped
out did so by 150V and the participants who continued after 150V went on
to the end. So, 150V was named the “point of no return”. Therefore,
in Burger’s study, if participants went to continue past 150V, the experiment
would be stopped and it was assumed that they would carry on to 450V,
preventing them from experiencing high levels of distress. Also in Burger’s
study, participants were told at least three times that they could
withdraw from the study at any time. However, this was not done in Milgram’s study.

The participants were therefore made more aware of their right to withdraw in
this study than in Milgram’s. Also in Burger’s replication, the participant
only received a 15V sample shock as opposed to the 45V sample shock given to
participants in Milgram’s study (these were done to give a taste of what the
shocks felt like for the learner), therefore meaning that there was less
physical harm done to the participants in Burger’s study as the shock they
received was lower.


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