The Perils Of Obedience By Stanley Milgram

918 WordsSep 26, 20144 Pages
Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist, aggrandized many minds as he delved into a very common habit that humans exhibit every day. One could infer that it was his curiosity which prompted him to write on this topic provided that he was born into a Jewish family. This topic is the human behavior of obedience. “The Perils of Obedience” was written by Stanley Milgram in 1974. This essay is based upon the findings of his experiment he conducted at Yale University in 1961. The objective of the experiment was to find out how far an ordinary citizen would inflict pain on another because of his/her orders given by the experimental scientist. (Milgram 1) In theory, he wanted to determine to what extreme measures will an individual resort to in order to obey authority? The original design of the experiment was using two random people and having one act as a teacher and the other as the student. The teacher’s assignment was to read the student a list of simple word pairs and the student had to recall the second word of a pair. The punishment for not remembering the second word of a pair was for the teacher to administer a shock to him/her utilizing a shock generator, but each time the student answers incorrectly or refuses to respond the shock intensity would increase. The catch is that the teacher is the target of the experiment and the student is actually pretending to receive the shocks. Milgram argues people blindly obey authority because the sense of
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