Stanley Milgram conducted one of the most controversial psychological experiments of all time: the Milgram Experiment. Milgram was born in a New York hospital to parents that immigrated from Germany. The Holocaust sparked his interest for most of his young life because as he stated, he should have been born into a “German-speaking Jewish community” and “died in a gas chamber.” Milgram soon realized that the only way the “inhumane policies” of the Holocaust could occur, was if a large amount of people “obeyed orders” (Romm, 2015). This influenced the hypothesis of the experiment. How much pain would someone be willing to inflict on another just because an authority figure urged them to do so? The experiment involved a teacher who would ask questions to a concealed learner and a shock system. If the learner answered incorrectly, he would receive a shock. Milgram conducted the experiment many times over the course of 2 years, but the most well-known trial included 65% of participants who were willing to continue until they reached the fatal shock of 450 volts (Romm, 2015). The results of his experiment were so shocking that many people called Milgram’s experiment “unethical.”
The third reason for why people obey is when a person shifts from the autonomous state to the agentic state; this is called the agentic shift. Milgrams participants believed they were ‘just following orders’ and did not consider themselves responsible; his participants even sighed with relief when the experimenter said “I am responsible for what happens here.” Evidence from war criminals, has shown that Eichmann, who was trialled and found guilty for the Nazi war killings as he was the man who organized which camps the Jewish people would end up at, said “it wasn’t my
In 1961, Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted a controversial experiment on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. He examined the justifications for acts of genocide given by those accused at the World War II Nuremberg War Criminal trials. Their defense often was based on "obedience,” and that they were “just following orders from their superiors” (McLeod, Saul. Milgram Experiment, Simply Psychology).
The two experiments were a tested at different time periods and for different purposes. For instance, the Milgram experiment was originally tested to study obedience to authority, in response to Adolf Eichmann trial, a Nazi war criminal, that stated he,” was just stating orders under the Reich.” The experiment proved to be that under authority rule, actions, even if morally wrong and unethical can be still taken forward with due to a strict authority presence.
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.
In The Perils of Obedience, Stanley Milgram introduces us to his experimental studies on the conflict between one’s own conscience and obedience to authority. From these experiments, Milgram discovered that a lot of people will obey a figure in authority; irrespective of the task given - even if it goes against their own moral belief and values. Milgram’s decision to conduct these experiments was to investigate the role of Adolf Eichmann (who played a major part in the Holocaust) and ascertain if his actions were based on the fact that he was just following orders; as most Germans accused of being guilty for war crimes commonly explained that they were only being obedient to persons in higher authority.
Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, and other members of the community also questioned the nature of obedience. Milgram reflected back to the 1933 events of the Holocaust. Milgram began to question the intentions of the soldiers serving under Eichmann. Why would all those German soldiers go along with kill millions of innocent Jews, slaves, homosexuals, children, and gypsies? Were the soldiers just following the orders of Adolf Eichmann, leader of the German Army? Milgram was interested in doing the obedience to authority figures study because he questioned if Adolf’s men were just following his orders, and this lead to killing of eleven million innocent victims during the time period of the Holocaust. Milgram became enthusiastic in researching the limit that the average person would go to obey orders from their authority figures, even if that meant
A while after receiving his doctorate, Milgram began studying the justifications of genocide, in particular the case of Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann was responsible for countless war crimes associated with the Nazis, however he claimed that him and all of his accomplices were simply following orders. A year after Eichmann’s trial, Milgram had set out to find the answer to his new found 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). It is this underlying question that supported the entire experiment, essentially a study focusing on the conflicts between obedience to authority and personal conscience. As in, would you harm a person if you were told to do so by someone with high authority? The experiments began in July of 1961, at Yale University, when Milgram began a search for participants, by publishing a short advertisement in a newspaper.
How far will people go to be obedient? While some people are defiant, most people will go beyond imaginable measures to obey authority. Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment that tested human relations and authority. The experiment was scientifically sound and followed procedures but was very flawed. Milgram’s experiment consisted of an experimenter, a naïve subject, and an actor. The naïve subject is a volunteer who saw a public announcement stating that they would get paid four dollars (plus fifty cent carfare) for an hour of their time. Upon arriving the willing participants were told about the experiment’s process which included shocking a person when they gave wrong answers to a set of memory
During the Holocaust, millions of Jews were murdered. One specific person did not cause these deaths, because there was a division of labor. Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi organizer of these mass murders, never saw the direct effects of the genocide he was orchestrating. After the Holo-caust, Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment to study the levels of obedience to authority; he used his experiment to find where evil resided in people and to discover the cause of the Holo-caust. Some people found his findings useful information, while others thought his experiment was morally unacceptable due to his use of deception. Diana Baumrind, author of “Some Thoughts on the Ethics of Research: After Reading Milgram’s ‘Behavioral Study of Obedi-ence,’” disagrees with Milgram’s use of deception and manipulation in his experiment. Con-trasting Baumrind, Richard Herrnstein, author of “Measuring Evil,” believes deception was nec-essary in order for Milgram’s experiment to be effective. Deception is ultimately needed in the experiment, especially because Milgram’s findings are beneficial information for social science.
Stanley Milgram’s obedience study has become one of the most timeless experiments and is thought of as a work of art. In this experiment, Milgram examined if individuals would take requests from authority figures regardless if they felt that the requests were ethical or not. Milgram chose members for this study by daily paper advertising for male participants to partake in an investigation at Yale University. In World War II, Nazis justified killings by saying that they were simply doing what they were told. Milgram conducted a study to examine whether the Nazi killings during World War II occurred because Germans were being submissive to authority figures. Milgram’s technique for this study raised moral issues because
Shows us much about the dull side of human brain research. the straightforwardness with which we go under the influence of an authority, and the readiness of many individuals to suspend normal guidelines of profound quality and heart when requested to do as such and hand over the obligation regarding their activities to another. Even the most ordinary Person who in most possible conditions could never dream of harming another person, appear to be exasperatingly vulnerable to this imperfection. This experiment relates to Adolf Eichmann who played a role in executing Jews in the Holocaust In his execution he states he was only following orders given by Hitler and was being obedient to authority. The most surprising thing in the Experiment would
Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist, writes in his article “The Perils of Obedience” about an experiment he designed which forced participants to either obey the demands of an authority figure, in this case the experimenter, or to turn against obedience and refuse to proceed in the experiment (Milgram 78). He found from this experiment that a minority of the participants refused to obey orders by the experimenter; therefore, most of the participants followed the orders given by the experimenter knowing it would result in the learner’s pain (Milgram 80). Milgram believes his results did not prove that these participants were sadists or mass murderers; however, his results did prove that ordinary people simply obeying orders can
Some fifty years ago, the perpetrator of Holocaust, Adolph Eichmann was put on trial. The prosecutor referred to him as a new killer, but reporting about the same trial, Hannah Arendt made a different conclusion. She made a point that Eichmann was a bureaucrat, referring to him as a law binding citizen who performed his duties and subscribed to relevant orders. The main assertion was that when a good person in placed in a bad situation, then it is definite that bad things will happen Haidt 2012). Since then, numerous evidences have always emerged to support this claim. A psychologist at Yale, Stanley Migram revealed that men would always inflict
In the Nuremberg trials, Nazi leaders attempted to implicate this excuse as an appropriate defense for what they did in the many concentration camps spread all over Germany. In 1961, Yale University psychologist Stanly Milgram conducted a series of experiments to attempt to explain if the Nazi’s who took the orders shared the belief of anti-Semitism with their superior officers or were they truly just “following orders.”