Obedience to Authority vs. Personal Conscience Essay

862 Words4 Pages
Stanley Milgram, conducted a study focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. According to the study Migram suggested “that obedience we naturally show authority figures can transform us into agents of terror” (Migram, 1974/1994, p. 214). Milgram experiment was developed for the justification of the act of genocide in World War II. Many of the accomplices in the Holocaust said they were following in order given by Adolf Eichmann. Obedience to superiors is built onto the history of civilized society, and no culture worthy of the name has existed without stressing the respect that is due to legitimate authority of the duties of those in command. Milgram study provides information that supports that…show more content…
Milgram study shows that 65% of the “teachers” obeyed the order to the level of 450 volt. Before the experiment Milgram gather prediction of how the teachers would obey to a directive and the majority of the participants felt that teacher would refuse to obey the experimenter. One participant, the psychiatrist predicted most of teachers would only administer up 150 volt. Both teachers and the learner was aware of the conflicting pain of 45 volt electroshock, each participant was given this amount of voltage before the experiment began. The experiment shows that when we are under an authority order, we will forget our ethical principles. The history of electroshock therapy (ECT), Ugo Cerletti, in 1938 came up with the idea for treat human beings with electroshock therapy. He was observing the barbaric act of slaughterhouse pigs being electrocuted into unconsciousness to make it less difficult for working to slit their throats and thought that is could be applied to the treatment of mental illnesses in human beings. A year later the idea was introduce to the United States by the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Patients of all ages received the electroshock treatment for “disorder” ranging from depression, mania, schizophrenia and homosexuality and truancy. Electroshock treatments disappeared in the late 1960s. Psychotropic medications for antidepressant slowed down the use of electroshock therapy. The patient received shock treatment over

More about Obedience to Authority vs. Personal Conscience Essay

Open Document