Personality Predicts Obedience in a Milgram Paradigm
Article first published online: 24 JUN 2014
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 83, Issue 3, pages 299–306, June 2015
How to Cite
Bègue, L., Beauvois, J.-L., Courbet, D., Oberlé, D., Lepage, J. and Duke, A. A. (2015), Personality Predicts Obedience in a Milgram Paradigm. Journal of Personality, 83: 299–306. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12104
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2015
- Article first published online: 24 JUN 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 5 MAY 2014 08:59PM EST
This study investigates how obedience in a Milgram-like experiment is predicted by interindividual differences. Participants were 35 males and 31 females aged 26–54 from the general population who were contacted by phone 8 months after their participation in a study transposing Milgram's obedience paradigm to the context of a fake television game show. Interviews were presented as opinion polls with no stated ties to the earlier experiment. Personality was assessed by the Big Five Mini-Markers questionnaire (Saucier, 1994). Political orientation and social activism were also measured. Results confirmed hypotheses that Conscientiousness and Agreeableness would be associated with willingness to administer higher-intensity electric shocks to a victim. Political orientation and social activism were also related to obedience. Our results provide empirical evidence suggesting that individual differences in personality and political variables matter in the explanation of obedience to authority.