Show MoreThe Milgram Experiment
Stanley Milgram, a famous social psychologist, and student of Solomon Asch, conducted a controversial experiment in 1961, investigating obedience to authority (1974). The experiment was held to see if a subject would do something an authority figure tells them, even if it conflicts with their personal beliefs and morals. He even once said, "The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act (Cherry).” This essay will go over what Milgram’s intent was in this experiment and what it really did for society. The Milgram Experiment was on obedience to authority, which…show more content…
(Voltage increased after each wrong answer). After a dangerous level of voltage was applied, the actors screamed out in pain, and then fell to the ground, not responding to the experimenter or the subject. Many subjects were said to show signs of distress at this point, but after being prompted by the experimenter to continue on with the experiment, and increase levels of voltage (Cherry). Over 65% of participants continued to electrocute at lethal levels, and who is to say that most of us wouldn’t have done the same? After all, psychologists first predicted that only around 10% of people would actually follow through (Cherry).
After the experiment subjects were debriefed, and told that the participants they administered shocks to were actually actors. The subjects realized the cruelty of their actions and some suffered emotional break downs. Milgram stated, "Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority (1974).” His experiment just proved that when placed in a situation of pressure,
The Milgram Experiment of Obedience
- Length: 432 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Milgram’s experiment of obedience was done in 1961 soon after WW2 and the trials for war crimes against the Nazi’s were being done. An ad was placed in the newspaper for a Memory and Learning Experiment at $4.50 an hour, but the experiment was ultimately on Obedience. The experiment was conducted on behalf of Adolph Eichmann who was convicted of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, but he was only following orders. Eichmann filled out death warrants but never carried out the killings. The objective of the experiment was to find out if people would obey higher authority even though what they were doing was morally wrong. There would be the experimenter who recorded the teacher’s reactions and answered questions of the teacher. The learner, an actor not actually harmed, was supposedly shocked every time he had given a wrong answer and each time he was wrong he would be shocked with more voltage than the one before. The teacher administered questions to the learner along with the shocks for the wrong answer. What the teacher thought he was doing was giving a painful shock, not deadly shock to the learner to test of punishment leads to better memory.
During the experiment very few actually went against authority, even though all shocked the learner at 300W and on. Over 50% went to the full amount of electricity. In fact a prediction from other psychologist suggested that not even 1% of the subjects would follow up to the last switch on the generator. During the experiment, teachers, the actual subjects, became nervous. The teachers began questioning the experimenter, who told them to go on and that he was the one talking all the responsibility of the teachers’ actions. This persuaded many teachers to go on feeling obligated to follow authority even though the teachers knew they were doing something morally wrong. The teachers fidgeted a lot, moved the hands, pulled out cigarettes and looking around, talking fast, etc. which are all signs of nervousness. Despite their nervousness and morality they listened to authority to continue long after the learner was not responding.
How to Cite this Page
| The Milgram Experiment Essay - The Milgram Experiment (Hart) Stanley Milgram’s experiment in the way people respond to obedience is one of the most important experiments ever administered. The goal of Milgram’s experiment was to find the desire of the participants to shock a learner in a controlled situation. When the volunteer would be ordered to shock the wrong answers of the victims, Milgram was truly judging and studying how people respond to authority. Milgram discovered something both troubling and awe inspiring about the human race.... [tags: Stanley Milgram, Experiment, Obedience]|
:: 1 Works Cited
|The Power of Situation in The Milgram Experiment Essay - The power that a situation can have on a person is simply incredible. This power of situation and obedience go hand in hand, people get caught up in a situation because of the obedience they were taught as children. In society obedience is the key, allowing things to run smoothly and helps to prevent chaos. But in some instances that obedience can over take and cause a person to do things that they normally wouldn’t; whether it be following orders to an extreme extent or even doing things that people would consider to be inhumane.... [tags: lucifer effect, obedience, milgram experiment]||1779 words|
| Comparing Views on Stanley Milgram's Experiment on Obedience Essay - In 1963 a psychologist named Stanley Milgram conducted one of the greatest controversial experiments of all time. Milgram tested students from Yale to discover the obedience of people to an authoritative figure. The subjects, whom did not know the shocks would not hurt, had to shock a “learner” when the “learner” answered questions incorrectly. Milgram came under fire for this experiment, which many proclaimed was unethical. This experiment of Milgram’s stimulated the creation of several responsive articles.... [tags: Ethics, Article Comparison]|
:: 4 Works Cited
|The Milgram Experiment of Obedience Essay - Milgram’s experiment of obedience was done in 1961 soon after WW2 and the trials for war crimes against the Nazi’s were being done. An ad was placed in the newspaper for a Memory and Learning Experiment at $4.50 an hour, but the experiment was ultimately on Obedience. The experiment was conducted on behalf of Adolph Eichmann who was convicted of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, but he was only following orders. Eichmann filled out death warrants but never carried out the killings. The objective of the experiment was to find out if people would obey higher authority even though what they were doing was morally wrong.... [tags: essays research papers]||432 words|
|An Experiment on Obedience in The Pearl´s of Obedience by Stanley Milgram - In this article “The Pearls of Obedience”, Stanley Milgram asserts that obedience to authority is a common response for many people in today’s society, often diminishing an individuals beliefs or ideals. Stanley Milgram designs an experiment to understand how strong a person’s tendency to obey authority is, even though it is amoral or destructive. Stanley Milgram bases his experiment on three people: a learner, teacher, and experimenter. The experimenter is simply an overseer of the experiment, and is concerned with the outcome of punishing the learner.... [tags: essays research papers]||638 words|
| Essay about Stanley Milgram’s Behavioral Study of Obedience - “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....” ― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” ― Henry David Thoreau In the early 1960’s Stanley Milgram (1963) performed an experiment titled Behavioral Study of Obedience to measure compliance levels of test subjects prompted to administer punishment to learners. The experiment had surprising results.... [tags: Psychology, Milgram Experiment]|
:: 4 Works Cited
| Essay on A Brief Summary of Milgram's Seminal Research on Obedience to Authority - Social psychology, as a discipline, has given relatively little attention to the problem of evil in society, and those discussions in this field that do exist typically regard evil actions as only varieties of aggression without any characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of intentional mistreatment of others (Berkowitz, 1999). Because of the field's situationistic perspective emphasizing the individual's susceptibility to the power of the immediate situation, social psychologists generally view the fairly high levels of obedience to authority displayed in Milgram's classic experiment as the paradigmatic example of evil behavior (Berkowitz, 1999).... [tags: milgram experiment, social psychology, behavior]|
:: 17 Works Cited
| The Perils of Obedience, by Stanley Milgram Essays - If a person of authority ordered you inflict a 15 to 400 volt electrical shock on another innocent human being, would you follow your direct orders. That is the question that Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University tested in the 1960’s. Most people would answer “no,” to imposing pain on innocent human beings but Milgram wanted to go further with his study. Writing and Reading across the Curriculum holds a shortened edition of Stanley Milgram’s “The Perils of Obedience,” where he displays an eye-opening experiment that tests the true obedience of people under authority figures.... [tags: the perils of obedience, stanley milgram]|
:: 1 Works Cited
| Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram Essay example - Stanley Milgram’s 1963 studies into obedience have provided important and shocking insights into the power of authority. The study set out to discover how obedient people really are. Debate and controversy have surrounded the study since the results were first published. Predictions made by psychologists before the experiment proved dramatically inaccurate. The experiment led volunteers to believe they were administering increasingly painful and dangerous electric shocks to another volunteer for the purposes of a study on memory.... [tags: Obedience to Authority, 1974]|
:: 10 Works Cited
|Obedience Essay - Obedience is the process by which individuals comply with the instructions given by an authority figure not to be confused with conformity. There is one similarity between obedience and conformity which is that both involved a renunciation Of personal responsibility. There is three differences between Obedience and Conformity. The first one is that in Obedience an order or an instruction is given whereas no instructions or order is given in conformity. The second one is that in obedience there will be a difference of status e.g : a doctor and a nurse whereas in conformity the group followed will have the same equal status.... [tags: Obedience]||742 words|
Milgram Experiment Obedience Wrong Answer Eichmann Learner Obey Switch Adolph
Perhaps the teachers obeyed because they have a sense of obligation to their duty. This is just the whole idea of completing the job that’s given to you. Some people have a fear of being perceived as rude. In general, people want to present themselves in the best way possible thus obeying authority despite ethical notion in the back of their minds. This might be a perfect example to explain the rational behind the many Germans that accepted the Nazi’s ideas.