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. Obedience to people in authority is a deep-rooted trait that we all possess by virtue of our upbringing, and as Milgram put it, “it is only the person dwelling in isolation who is not forced to respond, with defiance or submission, to the commands of others” (Milgram 1974). This trait is exhibited every day in family circles, workplace and school. People are most likely to obey instructions from people they perceive their authority to be legal or moral. We see people obeying their pastors, leaders in various societies and other people they see as higher to them; and they obey anything they are being told even if it involves killing another human being. They justify their actions, however wrong, on obedience to authority. After the conclusion of the experiments and its
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If a person of authority ordered you inflict a 15 to 400 volt electrical shock on another innocent human being, would you follow your direct orders? That is the question that Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University tested in the 1960’s. Most people would answer “no,” to imposing pain on innocent human beings but Milgram wanted to go further with his study. Writing and Reading across the Curriculum holds a shortened edition of Stanley Milgram’s “The Perils of Obedience,” where he displays an eye-opening experiment that tests the true obedience of people under authority figures. He observes that most people go against their natural instinct to never harm innocent humans and obey the extreme and dangerous instructions of authority
Psychologists take the effort to contrast the influences of people in regard to thinking, awareness, feelings, actions, attitudes, and behavior. Society tends to form responses from how one person’s actions ultimately causes various stereotypes and prejudices to be generated. Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram, discusses various subjects such as impression, stereotypes and prejudices, attribution, attitudes, social influence, attraction, obedience and authority, groups, and helping behavior. Milgram explains, “A person does not get to see the whole situation but only a small part of it, and is thus unable to act without some kind of over-all direction. He yields to authority but in doing so are alienated from his own actions.” (Milgram 11). In this passage, the author shows how in a workplace, people are given small and narrow jobs which is arguably taking away human qualities. Due to the fact that, workers cannot see the full overview of the job that is being done and can only see the specific job that was designated, forces the workers to comply with authority, with the concept in mind that the workers are inferior. This works in many cases, if someone is told a small portion of a project is designated to them, instead of the full project; the worker will feel more inferior to the superior workers, which is an astute way to run an operation. Milgram also discusses, “Within the experimental setting, we find the three elements: position, status and action. Position
Often, researchers wonder why obedience has such a strong effect. Some researchers say that obedience is a conscious thing; however, some researchers also say that obedience comes from the fear of authority figures. What exactly does obedience and authority mean? Obedience is “compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint or control.” (Obedience, 2003) Authority is “a legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; power exercised buy a person in virtue of his office or trust; dominion; jurisdiction; authorization.” (Authority, 2003)
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.
Can the average person, when confronted by authority and ordered to hurt another human being, be able to do so? According to the results of Stanley Milgram’s famous experiments on Obedience to Authority and the numerous testimonies from Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials, the answer is yes, provided that the individual committing the act was ordered to do so by an authority figure and/or believes that responsibility will be deferred to said higher authority. There is therefore potential that the actions of the Nazis during the Holocaust can be reasonably explained by the results of Milgram’s experiments and Milgram’s Agency Theory.
Since the terrorist attack on Paris, to the natural disasters in Haiti; there have been a variety of tragic events that have occurred throughout history across the world. Perhaps one main tragedy that leaves people feeling baffled is the Holocaust. Eric Lichtblau described the Holocaust in his article, The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking, as a genocide in which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and its associates killed approximately six million Jewish people because the Nazis believed that exterminating the Jewish people was justified. They believed this for the reason that Jewish people were not only a “low” and “evil” race, but were affecting the lives of the Germans negatively and blamed them for all the social and economic problems in Germany (Lichtblau). The puzzling part is what would make an authoritative figure, such as Adolf Hitler; do such an atrocious thing to a group of people? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority in 1963 analyzed what makes people obedient to an authority. Milgram’s experiment found that factors such as the authority figure, the use of deception and the agentic state of the person can further explain why people obeyed Hitler to the point that induced the Holocaust.
The complexities of a human 's readiness to submit to someone else 's will have fascinated humankind since the development of societal gatherings. Just in late history there has been many investigations directed which so totally catch the layman 's creative energy as the submission tests led by Stanley Milgram. As one of only a handful couple of mental analyses to have such a consideration getting criticalness, Milgram found a concealed quality of the human mind that appeared to demonstrate a shrouded insane in even the most coy individual. Milgram presents his startling discoveries in "The Perils of Obedience". By first investigating what Milgram is endeavoring to find in his examination of acquiescenceis that it is conceivable to better
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
When I entered into general psychology, I did not think that I would be writing an essay on a psychologist. But as I sit reading about the man that was assigned to me I see why it is an assignment for us to do. Stanley Milgram is who I was assigned to write a paper on, and is someone that is known for many different things.
Obedience to Authority is a book by Stanley Milgram. Obedience to authority is a compliance with commands given by an authority figure. Milgram's research showed that people have a strong tendency to comply with authoritative figures. Drawing specifically on the statements of those who testified in Nuremberg, as well as those who have written about it, I will be explaining why Milgram's experiments do help explain the Holocaust and other Nazi war crimes. As Well as the views of Tedford Taylor in An American Tragedy and Hannah Arendt’s A report on the Banality of Evil.
Diana Baumrind and Ian Parker have each authored a review of Stanley Milgram’s famous obedience experiments. In Milgram’s experiments, he observed the extent of subjects ' obedience to authority when an experimenter commanded them to deliver possibly harmful electric shocks to another person. According to Milgram, an alarming amount of subjects willingly proceeded to the highest voltage shock in the experiment. In Baumrind 's "Review of Stanley Milgram 's Experiments on Obedience," she attempts to disprove and refute Milgram 's experiments by criticizing his experimental set-up, his lack of safety precautions, his ethically questionable study, and his comparison between his experiments and Nazi Germany. In Parker’s “Obedience,” he seeks to show Milgram 's strengths and weaknesses in order to review his experiments. Parker begins his critique by analyzing Milgram 's ethics and questionable scientific procedure. He then evaluates Milgram 's comparison between his experiment and the Holocaust, summarizes Milgram 's life and the effect it had on his experiments, and introduces the effect of situational factors on obedience. While Parker effectively critiques Milgram’s experiments by discussing Milgram’s ethical flaws and the flaws in his procedure, Baumrind ineffectively and subjectively analyzes these topics; however, both authors effectively critique Milgram’s comparison between his experiments and the Holocaust.
In 1963, physiologist Stanley Milgram brought to light the idea of Obedience to Authority. He was stimulated by the trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal who was put to death for the crimes he committed under Hitler’s authority (McLeod , Obedience to Authority, 2007). The objective of his research was centered on 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). Milgram introduced the phenomenon of Obedience to Authority through his experiments. Milgram demonstrates how human nature is susceptible to blindly obey authority without regard to any sense of morality. This behavior mirrors numerous genocides, but specifically gives reason to the Holocaust (McLeod, 2007).
Stanley Milgram managed to conduct the experiment that revealed the distinct features of the members of our society. He questioned how millions of ordinary people in Germany could obey the immoral commands of the Nazi government and provided the study exploring the mechanisms of human obedience to authorities. Though Milgram’s experiment has provoked a huge amount of criticism, the analysis of internal and external validity, ethical issues, and the contribution of the experiment to modern science reveals the significance of the findings of the study.
Whether one acknowledges it or not we all obey authority in one way or another. It is something that is embedded into us from the day that we are born. We begin to become obedient to our parents, elders, our teachers, law enforcement, the list goes and on. Authority has a major impact on human behavior. This is especially evident in the case of the concentration camps in Germany. There were hundreds if not thousands of people following Hitlers unethical orders, and clearly they outnumbered the one person controlling it all. However, they did not go against him but they simply followed his orders. For a person to obey authority, one has to accept that it is legal, and right for the order to be made of them. It also involves somebody of a higher power or status to be involved in making the commands.
Over the years Stanley Milgrim’s experiment has been one of the most discussed and controversial experiments in the psychology world. The experiment is the study of obedience over authority and was based on the idea on why many Germans decided to obey Hilter knowing that his actions were unjustifiable. Ethical issues were questioned after the results were published. Milgrim was interested to find out how people would respond on an authority figure given the circumstances. Since then psychologists tried to replicate the experiment to get a better understand the human behavior.