David’s claim that the Holocaust occurred because the Germans became unusually cruel is false based on the fundamental attribution error and Milgram’s experiments. The fundamental attribution error is the tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to internal factors, instead of accounting for situational factors. David committed this error when stating that Germans, as a whole, were “sadistic people with abnormal and twisted personalities”. David did not account for the immense pressure that the German public felt from Hitler during World War II. Although many atrocities were being committed, the Germans feared for their lives if they stood up for the Jews and disobeyed Hitler’s rule. David would be correct if he said that some Germans became systematically cruel, but the fundamental attribution error is introduced when David says that all Germans became systematically cruel.
Philip Zimbardo questioned, “What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” (Zimbardo, 1971) In 1971 a psychologist named Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment on the effects prison has on young males with the help of his colleague Stanley Milgram. They wanted to find out if the reports of brutality from guards was due to the way guards treated prisoners or the prison environment. Zimbardo offered $15 per day for two weeks to take part in the experiment. The experiment was held in the basement of Stanford University Psychology building; they turned it into a mock prison.
The explanation of why upright people execute wrongful actions can be interpreted in multiple ways. In "The My Lai Massacre: A Military Crime of Obedience," Herbert C. Kelman, a professor of social ethics, and V. Lee Hamilton, a sociologist, discuss how the use of authorization, routinization, and dehumanization can be used to carry out unethical actions like in the My Lai Massacre. The American Law assumes that subordinates should be obeying orders, and when linked to obeying superiors, moral principles become inoperative. Erich Fromm, a psychoanalyst and the author of "Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem," explains how the different types of mind set and authority can be noticeably effective in whether one is obedient. Humanistic
Ethically, a significant critique of the experiment is that the participants actually believed they were administering serious harm to a real person, completely unaware that the learner was in fact acting. Although Milgram argued that the illusion was a necessary part of the experiment to study the participants’ reaction, they were exposed to a highly stressful situation. Many were visibly distraught throughout the duration of the test
The superior figure would inflict harm on the inferior because of the justification that they would not be responsible for their own actions. Consequently, this remains the central theme for inflicting harm on others even in mass groups such as the Holocaust; humans are able to continue unethical behaviors if their view of authority justifies their behaviors for them. Even though the Stanley Milgram exercise was conducted in 1969, the comparison to today's society mimics that of the 1930. Desires for control in society remain prominent issues and demonstrate the little change there has been in the previous forty or eighty years. Both experiments successfully exemplify the cruel nature of humans in response to pressure or lack of control but neither address the question of how to change behaviors ingrained in society for
This experiment was conducted in Stanford University by Dr. Zimbardo. During this two week long session, Dr. Zimbardo had several volunteers agree to act as prisoners and as prison guards. The prisoners were told to wait in their houses while the guards were to set up the mock prison, a tactic used by Dr. Zimbardo to make them fit into their roles more. The official police apprehended the students assigned to the role of prisoner from their homes, took mug shots, fingerprinted them, and gave them dirty prison uniforms. The guards were given clean guard uniforms, sunglasses, and billy clubs borrowed from the police. The guards were instructed to maintain order anyway they wanted without using physical violence. Zimbardo wanted the guards to seem intimidating while the prisoners were made to look inferior and were to be referred to with their ID number only. After the prisoners were assigned their roles and the guards took their post was the effect of the experiment finally setting in. On the morning of the second day the prisoners began to rebel against the guards by ripping off their ID numbers and barring the doors while taunting the guards. This event was the first step down the slippery slope that would follow. The guards took matters into their own hands and drove the prisoners out of their cells. The guards began to take on cruel and sadistic behaviors by humiliating the prisoners with menial tasks such as cleaning their latrines with their bare hands. After the sixth day the experiment was terminated because it was immoral to the prisoner group, of which lost three members due to mental breakdowns. It was concluded that many people tend to fit into social norms and don’t consider personal responsibility even for acts that are
Throughout history, occasions arise in which a subjugated people disobey the authority of their government. Many of the individuals participating in these acts of disobedience cite a contradiction of beliefs as their primary motive for rebelling. In the article, “Politics drawn from the very words of scripture”, by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet and the article, “Civil Disobedience”, by Henry Thoreau, the authors both provide varying opinions on rebelling against authoritative figures. Bossuet argued that monarchs received their authority directly from God. This view required all subjugated people to obey their king without argument. Thoreau, however, contended that one should follow only the laws that one’s conscience believed correct. In the “Declaration of Independence”, written by Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson disregarded the ideas of Bossuet and eloquently lists the reason for the colonies separates from their king and country. The tension between submitting
Power does corrupt people. The Stanford Prison Experiment really broke down some people. I really think they shouldn't of did that. The fake officers started to treat it like a real prison. According to the author of The Stanford Prison “ As the prisoners became more submissive, the guards became more aggressive and assertive. They demanded ever greater obedience from the prisoners.” . Having power isn’t always a good thing. Having power can turn a person from good to bad. Having can make you not be aware of how you are treating people. Having power really corrupts you.
Anything is a double-edged sword and so does obedience. Obedience has many functions. Submissiveness to a authentic leader is indispensable to win a war, and also, it provides stability for a country. From another point of view, it will lead to chaos and confusions in an institution without obedience. On the contrary, submission also has some limitations. When people are instructed, they have capacities to do evil and blind obedience sometimes leads to disasters.
Speaking of one of the most renowned psychological experiment, which even replications on TV are done, is the Milgram experiment, on obedience to authority figures. It involves the measurement of how much participants will to obey the authority, in order to explain the reason why soldiers obeyed to allow the Holocaust, the homicides of millions of Jews, happened. With the participants’ roles as a teacher to punish a learner by incrementing degrees of electric shocks, though they didn’t know it’s staged, 65% of them did it to the last under the horrendous moans and the commands of the experimenters, which surpassed the expectation of 1.2%. Milgram himself elaborated two theories, encompassing theory of
In 1961, Stanley Milgram (1963) carried out one of the most famous experiments in social psychology. He wanted to examine the conflict between a person’s obedience to authority and their personal conscience. This experiment was conducted one year after the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Eichmann, along with most of those accused at the Nuremberg War Criminal trials, often based their defense on ”obedience”. The justification for their atrocious actions was that they were simply following orders from their superiors.
According to Milgram, every human has the dual capacity to function as an individual exercising his or her own moral judgement and the capacity to make their own moral decisions based on their personal character. Yet, what happens to an average person who is obedient to authority when it overrides their own moral judgement? It is ironic that “virtues of loyalty, discipline, and self-sacrifice that we value so highly in the individual are the very properties that create destructive organizational engines of war and bind men to malevolent systems of authority” (Miller, Stanley Milgram). His gruesome experiment is considered by some to be one of the darkest in the field. In a series of about 20 experiments, hundreds of decent, well-intentioned
The experiment showed that humans are naturally obedient. Meyers makes a good point in that I believe I would never hurt someone just because I was told to, but in reality I really do not know what I would do. In this essay Meyers tone is very disgusted, and I tend to feel the same way. It is sickening to think that anyone would be so obedient that they would be willing to kill a complete stranger. It is very sad yet very true. People are very impressionable and will do whatever they are told if put in the right situation. Meyers also talk about how he worries about himself and his readers. He worries that if put in a similar situation that he would not know what he would do. I find myself in the same predicament. No one can know what they would do, but Milgram’s experiment, makes me lean towards the possibility that I would be more obedient than I would like to
Stanley Milgram conducted a famous experiment focusing on the struggle of obedience and to authority and personal conscience. Milgram selected participants and told them that this was a study of the effect of punishment on learning. Milgram then paired the participants up and made them chose slips from a hat to see who would be the “teacher” and who would stand as the “learner.” Because the slips both said “teacher,” both participants drew the “teacher” slip. One of the participants in every pair was a confederate, or an actor working with the experimenter. The confederate always ended up as the learner. The teacher was placed in front of a machine, called a shock generator, which had a series of labeled switches. The supposed learner
Kant has explained in the enlightenment theory that a person can understand which is ethical or unethical without the help of others. He can decide it by himself/herself without directed by another person. A person who is participating must be brave enough to do what they independently think and should not follow what an instructor asking you to do. If the orders are not affects or if it is threat for life of a person, then I would agree with obeying the authority without doubt. At the end of all, people need to understand the true meaning of authority and how important it is to attach ethics to this