How beautiful is this island paradise eh? Welcome to Puerto-Rico!
There are very few reported Milgram replications in collectivist cultures and therefore I was pretty excited when I stumbled over this one by Steve (1971). The study was conducted in Puerto Rico which scores fairly low for IDV (27/100) and therefore can be called a collectivist nation, (Hofstede 2017). Pueto-Rico also has a PDI of 68/100 which is relatively high. What is also interesting is that this country scores 99/100 for indulgence another dimension which has been added to Hofstede original five dimensions, suggesting that people are encouraged to feel that they can do as they desire and ‘spoil’ their children for example. Check out more about Puerto Rican values here: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/puerto-rico/
So what of the Milgram replication?
Aim: This study had an interesting twist in that they aimed to reveal whether responsibility was key to obedience by introducing this as an independent variable. They wanted to know if it would make a difference to the obedience rate if the experimenter said he was responsible for what happened to the learner versus what would happens if the experimenter told the teacher she was responsible herself.
Thomas Blass (2012) talks about this study in some detail and says it is the only study of which he is aware where this IV has been experimentally manipulated although Milgram’s experimenter sometimes mentioned that he was responsible when he was pressed by a Pp and had to improvise, however, this was not part of the standardised script.
Procedural differences to Milgram’s original: The Puerto Rican Pps were all female which is also of interest and were students in direct contrast to Milgram’s original study and were randomly allocated to the two conditions of experimenter responsible versus teacher responsible. They also only used a 10 switch voltmeter that went up to 300V.
100% were fully obedient in the Experimenter-Responsible condition but only 33% were fully obedient in the Teacher-Responsible condition.
Conclusions: The belief that the authority figure is responsible is critical in determining obedience and this study can therefore be used to support agency theory.
If you fancy studying in Puerto Rico and improving your Spanish check out this website: https://www.studyabroad.com/in-puerto-rico/summer