The teacher watched while the learner was strapped into an “electric chair” and they were told the straps were to prevent excessive movement, electrodes were attached to his wrists and electrode paste was applied “to avoid blisters and burns.
The teacher was then taken to another room and the his task explained; he was to read word pairs to the learner and then test his memory, punishing him with increasingly painful electric shocks for any mistakes by pressing the switches on the generator, which were labelled from 15-450 volts, increasing by 15 volts for each error.
Of course no real shocks were given to the confederate learner, but to ensure that the teacher did not see through the deception he was given a real sample shock of 45 V so he would know how painful this was.
During the procedure the experimenter, Mr Williams, is present at all times and if the Pp (teacher) protested, for example asking that the learner be checked, four verbal prods were given by the experimenter in the same order each time to encourage him to continue, for example he would say “please continue” and “the experiment requires that you continue so please go on”.
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