The Background on the Stanley Milgram Theory Essay

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The social psychology theory that I will be analyzing is based on the Stanley Milgram experiment done in 1965 following the start of the Nazi war. He was curios on all the violence taking place during this time. As a Jew himself, he wanted to find out whether or not the Adolf Eichmann accomplice had the same intent and hate towards the Jewish people during the holocaust. Based on Solomon Asch’s past experiments on conformity, Milgram’s experiment was done to determine whether or not the power of the situation could cause average people to conform to obedience. The results of Milgram’s experiment were astounding. The research of Milgram’s experiment had such a major impact on social psychology that we still use his findings to analyze…show more content…
It is not until then that some of the participants began to question what they were doing. The experimenter would simply tell the participants to “continue.” A few of them requested to stop, but still continued to issue the shocks after being prompted that they will not be held responsible. The results showed that 65% of the “teachers” punished the “learners” to the maximum voltage of 450 volts. The research also showed that none of the subjects stopped before reaching 300 volts. Different factors contributed to the amount of people who issued the maximum voltage. Things like the location dropped the percentage who issued the 300 volts. For instance, when they decided to conduct the experiment in an office building rather than in on campus at Yale, the percentage of those who issued the maximum voltage dropped almost 20%.
These findings were stunning to those involved in the experiment. Nobody predicted these results prior to the research being done. In fact Milgram believed he most people wouldn’t go past 150 volts. He predicted that only 4% of participants would go past 150 volts of punishment. (Milgram, 1974) The results later led to Milgram’s theory of obedience. It is ironic that virtues of loyalty, discipline, and self-sacrifice that we value so highly in the individual are the very properties that create destructive organizational engines of war and bind men to malevolent systems of authority. (Milgram, 1974)
Impact of Milgram’s Theory
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