Stanley Milgram’s Experiment of Obedience!

stanley milgrams claim is the obedience to authority is stronger than the personal conscience…


“Obedience is a form of compliance that occurs when people follow direct commands, usually from someone in position of authority.

Milgrams studies…

Stanley Milgram wanted to study this tendency to obey authority figures. Like many other people after WWII, he was troubled by how readily the citizens of Germany followed the orders of dictator Hitler, even when the orders required shockingly immoral actions, such as the slaughter of thousand of jews. Milgram, who had worked with Solomon Asch, set out to design a standard laboratory procedure for the study of obedience. The clever experiment that Milgram devised became one of the most famous and controversial studies in the annals of psychology.

Milgrams participants were a diverse collection of 40 men from the local community. They were told that they would be participating in a study concerned with the effects of punishment on learning. When they arrived at the lab, the drew slips of paper from a hat to get their assignment. The drawing was rigged so that the subject always became the “teacher” and an experimental accomplice became the “learner.”

The learner was strapped into an electified chair through which a shock could be delivered whenever he made a mistake on the task. The subject was taken to an adjoining room that housed the shock generator that he would control in his role as the teacher. Although the apparatus looked and sounded realistic, it was fake and the learner was never shocked.

As the “learning experiment” proceed, the accomplice made many necessitated shocks. The teacher was instructed to increase the shock level after each wrong answer. At 300 volts, the learner began to pound on the wall between the two rooms in protest and soo stopped responding to the teachers questions. From this point forward, participants frequently turned to the experimenter for guidance. Whenever they did so, the experimenter firmly indicated that the teacher should continue to give stronger and stronger shocks to the now-silent learner. The dependent variable was the maximum shock the participant was willing to administer before refusing to go on.

The shock levels went from 15 to 450 on 30 intervals.

26 out the 40 subjects administered all 30 levels of shock. Although they tended to obey the experimenter, many subjects voiced and displayed considerable distress about harming the learner. The horrified participants groaned, bit their lips, stuttered, trembled, and broke in sweat, but continued administering the shocks. Based on these results, Milgram concluded that obedience to authority was even more common than he or others anticipated. Before the study was conducted, it was predicted that 1% of the subject will continue until the end of the series of shocks!

In interpreting his results, Milgram agrued that strong pressure from an authority figure can make a decent person do indecent things to others. Applying this insight to the Nazi war crimes and other traversties, Milgram asserted that some sinister actions may be due to the actors evil character so much as to situational pressures that can lead normal people to engage in acts of treachery and violence. Thus, he arrived at the distrubing conclusion that given the right circumstances, any of us might obey orders to inflict harm on innocent strangers.”


this is what i wrote before we studied this experiment:

i disagree that obedience to authority is stronger, even though this experiment shows that.

it’s just so hard to believe.

i think he did an unethical experiment because people had to live with the guilt of killing someone if they raised the machine to 450 volts.

i agree that if you gradually do something, it becomes easier and easier.


and this is what i wrote after we studied this experiment:

i believe people are generally good, unless you prove me otherwise, they are good.

people should know right from wrong and should know that hurting someone is wrong, and people should have ethics. if someone told me to do that experiment, i wouldnt do it, even if i didnt know what the experiment was about.

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