Obedience, By Stanley Milgram Tore

1653 Words Dec 1st, 2015 7 Pages
I. Overview

Out of all the topics we have gone over the course of this class, obedience fascinates me the most. It is perplexing, thought provoking, and morally confusing. Obedience is paramount to the structure of our society yet stories of destructive obedience haunt us. From the atrocities of the Holocaust to the massacres in Vietnam we glimpse at the horrors humans are capable of. All the while, perpetrators vindicate their actions with relative ease. The justification for every genocide, mass murder, and ethnic cleansing; 'I was merely ordered.” Us average civilians will likely take solace in the belief we would never commit such crimes. However, in 1964, Stanley Milgram tore down that façade with his landmark paper The Perils of Obedience. Milgram showed that a majority of average people will do horrific things if commanded by an authoritative figure.
But is obedience—to do as a hierarchal authority dictates—that powerful? To further explore this topic, three studies will be presented with differing types of analysis on obedience. War and Peacemaking, The fusion of two neighboring captive monkey colonies by Detlev W. Ploog elucidates some of the biological effects (i.e. evolution) of obedience. Children 's obedience to adult requests: Interactive effects of anxiety arousal and apparent punitiveness of the adult by Carlsmith, J.; Lepper, Mark; Landauer, T. K. showcases the developmental determinates of obedience in children. And finally, Milgram’s famous study…
Open Document