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, 155 (1), 30-56

Revisiting Milgram's Cyranoid Method: Experimenting With Hybrid Human Agents


Revisiting Milgram's Cyranoid Method: Experimenting With Hybrid Human Agents

Kevin Corti et al. J Soc Psychol.


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.

Keywords: Milgram; cyranoid; embodiment; mundane realism; person perception; stereotyping.

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