Milgram Experiment By Philip Zimbardo

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Every human being is an actor in some way; we are just able to hide our personalities in the presence of others just as actors can control what parts of their personalities to show on-screen. While some believe that all people are good on the inside, others believe that some are better at hiding or controlling their evil than others. For years, scientists have been trying to understand why humans behave the way they do through experiments such as the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Experiment. But the question remains unanswered: Why do seemingly good people make bad decisions when under certain conditions and what are these conditions? Renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo attempts to answer these questions in his book and lists …show more content…

In this experiment, there were also two groups - the teacher and the student. The teacher would read a list of word pairs, and then begin testing the student, starting at 15 volts of shock, if the student got the question wrong, they would be shocked, with increasing voltage every time; if they got it right, they would not be shocked. In this experiment, experts believed that only “less than 1 percent would go all the way to the end [because] only sadists would engage in such sadistic behavior” (Zimbardo 271) However, they couldn’t be more wrong; 65% of the participants got up to 450 volts before they wanted to stop. The “teachers” were able to do this with little to no feelings of guilt, because after administering the shocks the first few times, it had become a habit. The experimenter remaining in the room was also a factor in this experiment because when the teachers would stop and beg to leave, the experimenter would say no. When one of the teachers got scared the student was dead, the experimenter said he would take responsibility for the experiments, so the teacher continued because he believed that he could do this because he wouldn’t get into trouble. The factors present in this situation play into what Zimbardo was describing with the conditions of the situation because these were normal people, good people, who were pressured by the experimenter and the force of …show more content…

This comes from the idea that when a person is disguised in a costume or uniform, they feel as though nobody knows who they are; thus, they can do whatever they want. Zimbardo, wanting to study the extent and effects of deindividuation, conducted many experiments. In Zimbardo’s Halloween experiment, students played a mix of “aggressive” and nonaggressive games. They played all the games multiple times; 1. without costumes, 2. with costumes, and 3. without costumes again. “The percentage of the total time children played these aggressive games, more than doubled from their initial base level average, up from 42 percent [in experiment A] to 86% [in experiment B].” (Zimbardo 302) Anonymity plays a huge factor when people do wrong things. When somebody is anonymous, they believe nobody can find out who they are, and that they won’t get caught, so they typically participate in worse behavior. As seen in phase A, without the costume, students were much less likely to play the aggressive game for long periods and less aggressively, but when the experiment transitioned into phase B with the costumes, the whole demeanor of the students shifted; they were more aggressive towards their peers and wanted to play the aggressive games for more time. This goes to show how the students believed that nothing would happen to them because

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