The Milgram Experiment Essay example
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A researcher, Stanley Milgram, wondered how far individuals would go in following commands. In 1974 he set up a series of experiments. Describe the research methods used, together with the findings.
In 1974 Stanley Milgram conducted the classic study of obedience to authority. The study looked into how far individuals would be willing to go, and were asked could they deliver increasingly devastating electric shocks to a fellow human being, as they were requested to do so by the professor in charge of the experiment.
The aftermath of the holocaust and the events which lead up to World War 2 left the world stunned with actions of the Nazi German army and their acquired surrounding territories which came out during the Eichman…show more content…
On arriving for the experiment they were told that they would play he role of the teacher. They were to read a series of words pairs to an individual on the opposite side of a partition. They were to test the individuals' memory by giving him a word and asking him to select the correct matching word from four alternatives. Each time the learner made an error, they were to give him/her an electric shock at the touch of a lever. The individual was strapped into an electric chair while they watched. The teachers had levers in front of them labelled from 15 to 450 volts and switches labelled from slight shock to danger: severe shock to the final XXX'. They were instructed to move one lever higher on the shock generator each time the learner made an error. There were not of course any shocks.
The individual strapped in the chair had of course been specially trained for the experiment. As the shock level increased they would protest to the teacher who would here the pleas through the adjoining wall. The individual would scream and then after 300 volts stop
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,