Cruelty In Stanley Milgram's Research

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Cruelty is a word that can be defined many ways; however, I believe it means the “intentional and malicious infliction of physical suffering upon living creatures.” Stanley Milgram, a Professor of Psychology at Yale University, created an experiment in order to measure the willingness of a subject to obey orders from an Authority figure who instructed the subject to fulfill acts that would harm another individual. In Milgram’s Research article “The Perils of Obedience” and Lauren Slater’s Book Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the twentieth century; they both also explore the topic of whether or not humans are innately cruel. Although some people may argue that people inherently cruel because of what transpired in the Catherine Genovese case, the results of the Stanley Milgram obedience experiment, and both the seizure and smoke experiment by Darley and Latane, these cases do not show that they were cruel because the subjects were influenced by diffusion of responsibility, authority and social cues.
In Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience Experiment,” the experimental design was very simple. “Two people come to a psychology laboratory to take part in a study of memory and learning. One of them will be designated the as a ‘teacher’ and the other a ‘learner.’ The experimenter explains that
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One theoretical explanation to how people acted during this experiment is, “that all people harbor deeply aggressive instincts continually pressing for expression, and that the experiment provides institutional justification for the release of these impulses” (Milgram 8). According to this explanation, if a person is in a situation in which they have complete power over another individual. Where he is allowed to harm the individual, the person’s aggressive tendencies will come out, and they will harm the
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