Throughout the years obedience has had an enormous effect on human history. It has caused nations to rise and fall, prosper and suffer; yet it has also brought destruction among innocent people in several gruesome measures. The holocaust is one of the best known examples of the perils of obedience. Hitler caused otherwise normal people to commit atrocious acts, acts that nearly exterminated all of the Jewish people. Philip Zimbardo, a professor of psychology at Stanford university, questions to what extent will a person allow themselves to be imprisoned by obeying others commands; Andrew Wolfson, a senior investigative reporter working for the Louisville Courier Journal, similarly discusses how a young adult was brutalized because of …show more content…
Louise Ogborn, an 18 year old churchgoing employee at Mcdonalds, became the suspect of a crime that was never committed. According to the man on the phone, “Officer Scott”, she had stolen a purse and needed to be strip searched. Summers, her manager, led her to the restaurants office and began the process, doing what the caller told her to step by step. Of course she claims that she asked him questions about why she had to do this, but he sounded like a legitimate police officer to her. After a few hours she told “Officer Scott” that she had to get back to the counter, and at his request she called her fiance. He forced her to perform sexual deeds at the callers command, and threatened to hit her if she refused. He was not the only one. Several cases were reported were the managers were so intent on doing as the caller asked that they even fought off the victim's family. However, finally Nix, summers fiance, had to leave and he called in the janitor. It was he who refused the callers demands and realized something was amiss. The result of this traumatic event affected everyone involved. Both Summers and Nix ended up in jail, and Ogborn was never the same. She began to suffer from panic attacks,nightmares, anxiety, and depression as a result. As Wolfson’s title suggest this was truly a hoax most cruel. Both of these articles are adjoined by the fact that the people under command were very quick to obey, even if it was an
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Throughout the history of humanity, humans have different behaviors that change depending on what situations they are in. Psychologist Philip Zimbardo spent many years exploring human nature and has developed many theories about human behavior. One of Zimbardo’s ideas is about situational factors that states “one’s behavior is assumed to be dependent upon their current circumstances, situation or the environment that they are in.” He concluded the concept of situational factors after his Stanford Prison Experiment, in which he gave authority to regular people and observed any changes. The experiment proved that people’s behavior will change when they are in different situations. Zimbardo also believes that evilness is the exercise of power to harm people in anyway possible, so a five year old who teases others to Adolf Hitler would be classified as perpetrators of evil.
In the Stanford prison experiment, Zimbardo analyzes how human behavior can change based one’s surroundings and what they are told to do. Normal college students are given roles to play in a mock prison. In this experiment, people are assigned jobs as prison guards and prisoners. The prison guards quickly adapted to their roles. They saw no problem treating the prisoners with no respect. These students use violence against the other students to show their leadership and dominance. The prisoners quickly got accustomed to their parts as well.The prisoners believed that they deserved the punishment. “The experiment shows that good people under the wrong circumstances can behave just like those that we vilify” (Zimbardo). With this experiment, Zimbardo studies the Lucifer Effect. The Lucifer Effect is understanding how good people become evil. He uses his data from this experiment to further develop the Lucifer Effect theory and find out why the Nazis treated the Jews with such cruelty. His results show that when given the opportunity and in the right environment, humans will dehumanize other
“The Perils of Obedience” was written by Stanley Milgram in 1974. In the essay he describes his experiments on obedience to authority. I feel as though this is a great psychology essay and will be used in psychology 101 classes for generations to come. The essay describes how people are willing to do almost anything that they are told no matter how immoral the action is or how much pain it may cause.
Individuals often yield to conformity when they are forced to discard their individual freedom in order to benefit the larger group. Despite the fact that it is important to obey the authority, obeying the authority can sometimes be hazardous especially when morals and autonomous thought are suppressed to an extent that the other person is harmed. Obedience usually involves doing what a rule or a person tells you to but negative consequences can result from displaying obedience to authority for example; the people who obeyed the orders of Adolph Hitler ended up killing innocent people during the Holocaust. In the same way, Stanley Milgram noted in his article ‘Perils of Obedience’ of how individuals obeyed authority and
Stanley Milgram’s obedience study is known as the most famous study ever conducted. Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted an experiment that focused on the conflict between personal conscience and compliance to command. This experiment was conducted in 1961, a year following the court case of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram formulated the study to answer the question “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” (Milgram, 1974). The investigation was to see whether Germans were specially obedient, under the circumstances, to dominant figures. This was a frequently said explanation for the Nazi killings in World War II.
The purpose of Stanley Milgram writing his “The Perils of Obedience,” is to show to what extent an individual would contradict his/her moral convictions because of the orders of an authority figure (Milgram 78). He constructed an experiment wherein an experimenter instructs a naïve subject to inflict a series of shocks of increasing voltage on a protesting actor. Contrary to Milgram’s expectations, about sixty percent of the subjects administered the highest voltage shock. (Milgram 80). According to Milgram, experiment variations disproved the theory that the subjects were sadists. (Milgram 85). Milgram states that although the subjects are against their actions, they desire to please the experimenter, and they often
She begins recounting the notorious details, how innocent college students labeled prisoners and guards displayed psychological abuse after only six days of confinement, and makes reference to Stanley Milgram’s obedience study and Abu Ghraib, where similar maltreatment, perceived or real, was conducted on civilians by civilians. She addresses and refutes the accepted belief that the Stanford Prison Experiment proved that anyone could become a tyrant when given or instructed by a source of authority. Instead, she suggests that Zimbardo’s inquiry points toward but does not land on one exact conclusion. She explains the influence of the setting, the presentation of the roles, Zimbardo’s participation, and perhaps a sense of expectation felt, all of which can be reflected in the shocking behavior of a few guards. She argues that it should not have been so shocking. Konnikova discredits the neutrality of Zimbardo’s experiment by insisting that people who would respond to an ad for a psychological study of prison life were not “normal” people. However, with her diction and choice of evidence she displaces the study's culpability in a way that ultimately blurs and undermines her claim.
The film A Few Good Men, directed by Rob Reiner, accurately portrayed exactly how much of obedience they must show when becoming Marines, and also how authority works in the navy. It’s an everyday dilemma for people whether to stick to their morals or be submissive to their supervisors. Sometimes, people obey orders because they want to get rewards, and because they want to avoid the negative consequences of disobeying, but they also have the mind of not wanting to bad things and staying principled, all because they are human. But when it comes to Marines, they don’t seems to have options such as obedience or resistance. Inevitably, they are to follow orders from above, with unquestioning commitment. But a question that people are not answered most of the time-- how obedience should a marine be? The articles written by Doris Ann, Steve Banner, Stanley Milgram, and Philip Zimbardo question and present possible explanations on how obedient a man becomes when they are given orders by an authority figure and to what extent they would stay obedient. In the film, Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson and Pfc. Louden Downey followed the orders exactly how it was instructed to them although it certainly went against their morals, all because they were given the order.
On an August day in 1993 a mother by the name of Judy Johnson, placed a phone call into the Manhattan Beach, California police department claiming her 2 year old son had been molested at his preschool by employee Raymond Buckey. (Reinhold, 1990) Raymond was placed under arrest, but due to the lack of evidence in the case he was released. Judy Johnson went on to complain in a letter to the state district attorney that her son had been taken to an Armory a possible sadistic type ritual was performed. (Reinhold, 1990) Still with the lack of sufficient evidence the Manhattan
In the chapter "The Dilemma of Obedience" of the book Obedience to Authority : An Experimental View, Stanley Milgram explores the concept of obedience to authority, and why people cannot defy authority even the situation is totally conflicting with morality. He introduces his ideas by giving the definition of obedience, and mentions Nazi extermination as an instance of obedience, which contradicts with moral values. According to Milgram, obedience idiosyncratically binds humankind to systems of authority, and links the individual action to political purpose. In terms of observations, obedience accepted as an inveterate behavior inclination, and obeying a system of authority has been comprehended as
Obedience is a behavior deeply ingrained in us. It is often an impulse that overrides ethics and sympathy. There is much evidence of this, including the Holocaust. It was not just a small group of deranged individuals that committed these atrocities, it was people who had blind obedience to authority. The tendency to locate the source of behavior disorders in a particular person or group underestimates the power of situational forces.
Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist, aggrandized many minds as he delved into a very common habit that humans exhibit every day. One could infer that it was his curiosity which prompted him to write on this topic provided that he was born into a Jewish family. This topic is the human behavior of obedience. “The Perils of Obedience” was written by Stanley Milgram in 1974. This essay is based upon the findings of his experiment he conducted at Yale University in 1961. The objective of the experiment was to find out how far an ordinary citizen would inflict pain on another because of his/her orders given by the experimental scientist. (Milgram 1)
Obedience and Disobedience has been a part of key moments in history. Many have studied forms of obedience to learn how it affects people and situations. For example, Stanley Milgram conducted a well-known experiment in which the subject, named the “teacher” must shock the “learner” every time he doesn’t remember a word pair from a memory test. The focus of this study is on the teacher, and whether they will administer killing shocks when told to by an authority figure. Another well-known experiment is the Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo. A group of college boys were separated into two groups, prison guards and prisoners, and were put
To be holy is to be morally blameless (pg 15), separated from sin (pg, 15), consecrated to God (pg. 15), conformed to the moral precepts of the Bible in contrast with the sinful ways of the world (pg. 15), nothing less than the conformity of the character of God (pg. 22), thinking as God thinks and willing as God wills (pg. 47), it’s not a series of do’s and don’ts, but a conformity to the character of God and obedience to the will of God (pg. 68), more broadly, obedience to the will of God in whatever God directs (pg. 136).
Throughout history there have been hundreds upon hundreds of influential figures, although not all of them have devoted their career to understanding the human mind. Of the few who have devoted their time to this hugely important task, Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo’s theories and experiments have made him stand out, and differentiate himself from the rest in his profession. Zimbardo 's area of expertise in the field of psychology is social psychology, the branch that deals with social interactions, including their origins and their effects on the individual. Zimbardo may be most well known for his Stanford Prison experiment, an experiment that seems to address the definition of social psychology perfectly. In this experiment Zimbardo had clinically healthy and sane people volunteer for the position of a prison guard or a prisoner and see how they behaved, for fifteen dollars a day. The prison was actually the basement of the Stanford psychology building, where the experiment would take place for a planned 14 days. As said before, the prisoners and guards were all tested as mentally healthy, and for the sake of the experiment were arrested, and processed on a random morning, August 14th 1971. (Zimbardo, 2007, p. 23). The results of this experiment are outstanding, shocking, and somewhat disturbing, making this one of, if not, the most unethical psychological experiments. Although the experiment is considered wildly immoral, Zimbardo is one of the most influential psychologists