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Thursday, Feb 28, 2002

degree of difficulty

"But Stanley Milgram believed he had solved the problem, or at least made substantial empirical progress, through an ingenious experiment. Milgram (1967) asked "starters," supposedly "randomly" chosen people from psychologically distant locations like Kansas or Nebraska, to send a folder through the mail to a target person in places like Cambridge, Massachusetts or Boston. The starters were given information about the target person and written instructions to send the folder through the mail to someone they knew on a first-name basis who would be more likely to know the target. That person was to send the folder on to someone even closer. Returned tracer postcards tracked the progress of each chain."