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Revisiting Milgram’s cyranoid method: experimenting with hybrid human agents

Corti, Kevin and Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 (2014) Revisiting Milgram’s cyranoid method: experimenting with hybrid human agents. Journal of Social Psychology, 155 (1). pp. 30-56. ISSN 0022-4545

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00224545.2014.959885


In two studies based on Stanley Milgram’s original pilots, we present the first systematic examination of cyranoids as social psychological research tools. A cyranoid is created by cooperatively joining in real-time the body of one person with speech generated by another via covert speech shadowing. The resulting hybrid persona can subsequently interact with third parties face-to-face. We show that naïve interlocutors perceive a cyranoid to be a unified, autonomously communicating person, evidence for a phenomenon Milgram termed the “cyranic illusion.” We also show that creating cyranoids composed of contrasting identities (a child speaking adult-generated words and vice versa) can be used to study how stereotyping and person perception are mediated by inner (dispositional) vs. outer (physical) identity. Our results establish the cyranoid method as a unique means of obtaining experimental control over inner and outer identities within social interactions rich in mundane realism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group Ltd
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2014 11:58
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:54

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