We follow orders and obey rules on a day to day basis. When your mom asks you to do something, like putting the dishes away or cleaning your room you do it without thinking about it. Or how about when students sit still and be quiet all day while their teachers are teaching? It's very easy to say that humans are obedient under authorities. According to most study’s findings, most people in positions of authority are more likely to promote acts of evil and less likely to obey a sense of conscience.
Renowned psychologist and social experimenter Stanley Milgram once said that “obedience is the psychological mechanism that links individual action to political purpose. It is the dispositional cement that binds men to systems of authority.” In other words, man succumbs to authority because it is rooted in his obedience to jurisdiction. An example of this is the American judicial system, which man is obedient to because that is what’s known. His political or societal purpose however is a learned behavior, or one that he matriculates from the dynamic of his culture.
Among multiple issues including giving misleading information, the most dominate is the lack of consent Milgram received from his subjects to participate in such a test (102). While I do see that this is immoral, there is no way that Milgram could have completed his experiments effectively if he had done it morally. The first issue is if he explains what is actually going to happen during the experiments, that would obviously hurt the integrity of his results. Also, going back to how the experiments help us, if those who participated knew what was going to happen, it wouldn’t have affected them as severely. It was the shock that the experiment gave that brought their life choices into question.
Conformity and group mentality are major aspects of social influence that have governed some of the most notorious events and experiments in history. The Holocaust is a shocking example of group mentality, or groupthink, which states that all members of the group must support the group’s decisions strongly, and all evidence leading to the contrary must be ignored. Social norms are an example of conformity on a smaller scale, such as tipping your waiter or waitress, saying please and thank you, and getting a job and becoming a productive member of society. Our society hinges on an individual’s inherent need to belong and focuses on manipulating that need in order to create compliant members of society by using the ‘majority rules’ concept. This
“The Perils of Obedience”, written by Stanley Milgram in 1973, explores how her experiment demonstrated people’s affinity to obey orders even if it means someone will get hurt. Milgram is a leading social psychologist who disproved previously considered notions about obedience and authority. Her work demonstrates how obedience trumps morality and gives support for this phenomena with examples from history. By using different participants’ reactions, the author is able to analyze the meaning behind the experiment.
Milgrams study of obedience is about the tendency to conform to authority Milgram uses a doctor in a lab coat to represent authority and used volunteer subjects to shock another subject if they do not repeat three word correctly it can be compared to the villagers in Barrnetts article because Milgrams study showed that over 50% of the test subjects are willing to do what the authority the doctor in this case instructions or commands. It was proven on how far they went in shocking the other subject with the highest setting on the shocking device. The same can be linked on what the Nazi’s did to the villagers in Muanchaussen with the swift and decisive ways they took care of protesters made the Nazi’s the authority and must be adhered too in any case. And that even if people know it is wrong they still listen to the authority this is the case with the employees like the doctors and nurses also including the maintenance man working in the euthanasia camp they continue to do what they are told to do even when they know what is happening is
The Milgram Experiment Usually, people follow given orders from authority. Authority can be a work boss, parents, teachers, etc. We are taught to follow orders at a young age so we won’t have issues with obedience in the future. The Milgram Experiment was basically testing how far someone could commit to their obedience before it became too much.
However majority percent said that they were fine to be a part of the experiment. However, I feel that the thought of harming other human under pressure of obedience itself is not less than actually harming people. It is one and the same. This study even after years kindled a debate of ethical treatment of study participants.
Ian Parker, author of “Obedience”, provides accurate depictions of the immediate and long-term effects of Dr. Stanley Milgram’s Experiment. In addition, he includes that under complex situations, individuals are easily induced to react through a destructive manner (Parker103). Americans commonly underestimate the influences of a situation; however, Parker thoroughly delineates the consequences behind blind obedience (Parker 104). Herbert C. Kelman and V. Lee Hamilton, authors of “The My Lai Massacre: A Military Crime of Obedience” construe the atrocity of blind obedience committed by the United States Military. In March of 1968, crimes of obedience occurred due to an elusive order commanded by a higher ranked officer (Kelman&Hamilton 131).
Since the beginning of the human existence, man has always dominated and ruled over one another be it empires, corporations, or small groups. Authority and obedience has always been a factor of who we are. This natural occurrence can be seen clearly through the psychological experiments known as The Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Both of these studies are based on how human beings react to authority figures and what their obedience is when faced with conflict.
Milgram himself concluded how easily ordinary people ‘can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority". (Milgram 1974) As this report has highlighted the research is not without controversy with many questioning to what extent Milgram’s experiment is true to real life and has been criticized for not highlighting further situational variables in determining obedience to authority. Regardless of this, there is no doubt Milgram highlighted a rather troubling phenomenon.
In both Milgram's experiment and the Holocaust by cultivating an “us and them” mentality ordinary people were able to undermine their own feelings of responsibility (Newman 15). Thus obedience not a massive group of heartless individuals contributed to the events during the Holocaust, as was shown with fundamental psychology gained by Milgram’s obedience
In addition, the experiment failed in providing the participants with the free will of participating or not. The very short video presents many occasions where the prisoner participants expressed their decision of ‘wanting out’ of the experiment and even having emotional breakdown, nonetheless this was not enough for the experimenters to let them go or abort the
We have been trained to be obedient to authority. This quality is deep-rooted in us all from the manner in which we were brought up. It is natural for people to obey orders from those whom they recognized as their authority. This is the natural response to legitimate authority and can be learnt in a variety of situations. In a summary written in the article “The Perils of Obedience” (Milgram 1974), states: “The legal aspects of obedience are of enormous import, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations.”