The Milgram Experiments

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Society and government require people to be obedient towards authority, but is it always the best thing to do? During the aftermath of World War II many of the major leaders of the Nazi regime were put on trial for crimes against humanity ( These trials were known as the Nuremburg war trials, were most of the convicted proclaimed that they were “just following orders” (McLeod 584). Being an accomplice to a crime is also against the law. In the Nuremburg trials, those accused were not breaking the law that their government had created, they were actually following it. These individuals had to follow their orders and ignore their own moral laws to prevent disobeying the law. This shows how people need to focus more on following their…show more content…
His experiment was used to demonstrate how people respond to orders from people with authority no matter what the order was. He started by having participants test another “participant”, who actually was one of Milgram’s men who knew what was going on. Each time the fake participant chose the wrong answer, the real participant had to shock them with a higher voltage until they got to one that would be deadly. Milgram changed parts of the experiment to find variables that changed how far the real participant would go. He noticed that location and experimenter’s dress apparel changes how likely it is that the real participant would go to the deadly voltage. He saw that the more personal, or close, the real participant had to be to the fake one, while they were being shocked, affected the obedience as well. He also noticed that if there were two other fake participants teaching that refused to shock their learners that the real participant would not comply. Finally, he tested the experimenter telling the real patient to shock the learner by telephone, instead of actually being there in person, reduced obedience as well (McLead). The Milgram experiment and the Nuremburg trials can relate extensively to explain how the Holocaust happened the way it did. Obviously the high ranking officers and buildings that these orders were carried out in helps make the people receiving them threatened to carry them out. The high ranking…show more content…
Many of the accused got sentenced to life in prison or death. Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment to explain the correlation of the environmental aspects that make people do terrible things and how far people will go to harm others. Social pressures also play a big role in how people think. Minorities can have their ideas of what is right and what is wrong swept over by majorities which was displayed in Solomon Asch’s experiments. The most important thing to learn from the Nuremburg trials, Milgram’s experiment, and Asch’s experiment is that sometimes it is better to resist authority if it means following moral

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