Chapter Summary Of Opening Skinner's Box By Lauren Slater

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In the book, Opening Skinner’s Box, by Lauren Slater is a really interesting, mind boggling book. In chapter 2, Obscura, talks about this Yale assistant professor named Stanley Milgram who decides to conduct an experiment on obedience to authority. Milgram himself seemed to have a strong appealing and curiosity to the way people behaved and acted. Stanley loved to experiment on the way humans adapt and react to such situations. He would point up at the sky for no reason, and timed how long it took a huge group of people to look up at nothing happening. He also would write letters, and address them and would drop them on the sidewalk, and would see who would come pick them up, and mail them (Slater, 43). He had a keen sense on human behaviors, …show more content…

He first took a poll on how his experiment would turn out. He asked residents of New Haven, Yale undergraduates, and a group of psychiatrists how they thought a group of people would behave in this situation he wanted to enact. They all told him the same answer, and predicted that every person who was to be involved in this experiment would not go all the way and shock someone all the way up to 450 volts (Slater, 40). He ended up with the result of 65% were obedient, and the other 35% were defiant. Why didn’t the 35% carry out the experiment? Why were they able to stop themselves, when the other 65% were not? These are all questions Milgram had after coming up with these results. No psychologist can answer this. After he tested these subjects, and had the results, he then called them back to test them on how they’re childhoods were, and how they were brought up. He wanted to see if maybe he could find the answer to the results he got. He got little help from this. All he came up with is that Catholics were more obedient than the …show more content…

She found that the person, who was defiant for the experiment, was a soldier who murdered Japs, and didn’t feel ashamed for it. He also kept Milgram’s cover and never told a soul about his experiment, even though it was an atrocious experiment. She also found out, that the person who was obedient in the experiment lived a great, normal life. After being in this type of observation, this subject felt that it helped him with life. He found how easily he was manipulated in such a test, that he began to become stern with himself and learned to deal with such expectations. It caused him to live life less according to authority. Tons of letters, from past participants, were mailed to Milgram, which he kept in a black binder. A former student of his, named Harold Takooshian, recalls of it. Written in the letters, were subjects saying how the experiment taught them about how to live life, and what it’s about. They said it caused them to rethink their ways to responsibility and authority (Slater,

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