Stanley Milgram's Effect On Civil Disobedience

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Psychologist, Stanley Milgram, wanted to know if people would cause harm on other humans simply because they were ordered to do so (he was inspired by Nazi soldiers, who corrected their actions in World War II by saying they were just following orders). Milgram designed an experiment where participants were told they were testing a learning technique, where a student had to learn a word pattern, and were punished by electric shock if they got the answer wrong. The “student” was an assistant of Milgram’s, but the participant, who was the “teacher” and the person to give the electric shock, thought this person was just an innocent participant. The teacher would read out a question, and if the student (who sat in an adjacent room, where they …show more content…

the student is unconscious/dead). Milgram wanted to see how far the participants would go with the shocks before they stopped the experiment. If they continued to order shocks, just because that was the rules of the experiment, Milgram claimed this would prove that people will commit acts of violence simply because they were ordered to do so. The results were that all participants continued to administer shocks well into the range at which the student was screaming in pain, and around 60% kept going until “XXX”. At the time, the Milgram experiment ethics seemed reasonable, but by modern day psychology, this experiment would have never been allowed today. Milgram’s generation needed conclusive answers about the “final solution”. Standard ethics in modern day psychology state that participants in any experiment must not be deceived, and that they must be made aware of any consequences. In fairness, research performed after the experiment, indicated that there were no long term psychological effects on the participants. However, the fact that these “teachers” thought that they had caused suffering to another human being, could have caused severe emotional

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