Compare And Contrast Milgram Experiment And The Stanford Prison Experiment

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After viewing both Milgram’s experiment and the Stanford Prison experiment, I can say that I was disappointed - but not surprised - by the results of each study. Throughout history the rise of one individual’s power has altered the course of entire cultures - Hitler, Stalin, and the Kim Jongs being obvious examples of this. Another story detailing the dangers of such stratified social hierarchy and thirst for power is Lord of the Flies. Though gruesome, this book proves how one person’s quest for ultimate authority can lead to the downfall of the entire group. While subjects in Milgram’s experiment seemed more apprehensive towards carrying out their “duties,” it was disheartening to see most of them buckle under the false sense of authority. I believe the average citizen would tell themselves they weren't capable of going along with such atrocities, but this experiment just goes to prove how toxic unquestioned authority can be. When we perceive an individual to hold supreme power over ourselves, we allow their teachings to grip our moral compass in a stranglehold, preventing us from acting in a civilized, rational manner. This is especially apparent in the Prison Stanford experiment. Even though all members of the study knew it was just that - no more than a sociological experiment - they quickly fell down the slippery slope that is group conformity. This demonstrates the Thomas Theorem extraordinarily well - the prisoners thought they were less than the guards, so they

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