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Analysis Essay on `The Perils of Obedience` by Stanley Milgram

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in psychology, social sciences

The infamous Milgram experiment ‘ on obedience , done in 1963 , is perhaps , the most commonly known of all psychological experiments . It gained its infamy for its use of subjects who did not know they were being tested . Since the experiment dealt with a highly stressful situation – the necessity to inflict pain at command – upon the publishing of its result , it raised a wave of debate on whether such an experiment is acceptable ethically . theless , the experiment produced interesting and controversial results – at the very least in the fact that it utterly disproved the [banner_entry_middle]

claims of most psychologists . The psychologists had argued that only a tiny , sadistic percent of the population would be able to commonly inflict pain on command , simply obeying s . The experiment clearly showed that 65 percent would obey authority if required , giving an alternative explanation to the phenomenon of concentration camps . Rather than sadism , the experiment shows , most people are simply obedient when the appropriate stress factors are applied . This experiment , naturally , had a variety of interesting consequences , both for psychology and the study of the later social reaction to the experiment itself

The ‘legend ‘ told to the participants of the experiment was that the scientists were studying the effect of punishment on learning . The subject had to deliver an electric shock when an actor who was playing the role of the learner answered a question incorrectly . Naturally , no real shocks were given . As time passed , the subject was ed to give progressively stronger ‘ punishment shocks . Most of the subjects eventually delivered what they thought were high-intensity , potentially lethal shocks in spite of serious distress on the part of the person who was playing the role of the learner . The result also gave interesting variations : many more people stopped earlier when the main scientist was not present in the room and gave his s by voice , without the use of facial expression when two experimenters who gave conflicting s were present , the subject halted the instant conflicts in authority began when another teacher ‘ was present , and started protesting most joined into the protest and , finally , if the test subject was not ed to inflict the pain , but merely to read the words , 37 out of 40 people assumed an instrumental role , and passively watched the scientist inflict pain (Milgram , 1963

As the Milgram experiment clearly demonstrates , most people will react positively to having authority taken from them . After giving consent most will protest weakly , passively . The test subject known as Prozi for instance , voiced his complaints , but at being told firmly that the experiment was a necessity , continued to go on (Milgram , 1963 . Despite the fact that , once explained what the experiment was , many people experienced regret , still , quite a few people trusted authority

One of the reasons not commonly noted is the effect of specialization of labor . In American society , where one goes to a specialist for every single bit of work that requires even a small bit of knowledge above the general level , it becomes almost… [banner_entry_footer]

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