“Behavioral Study of Obedience” Stanley Milgram

Topics: Psychology, Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment Pages: 4 (1027 words) Published: November 23, 2011
“Behavioral Study of Obedience” Stanley Milgram
Shashi Bhatt
“Behavioral Study of Obedience” Stanley Milgram

The Milgram’s experiment on Obedience to authority figure was a series of experiment in social psychology conducted by Stanley Milgram. The experiment measured the willingness of study participants to obey authority figure, which instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. It has been understood before this experiment that people tend to obey authority figure. Milgram’s work showed researchers the depth of this tendency and identified several of its key mechanism.

Obedience, as determinant of behavioral, is as of particular relevance to our time. It has been reliably established, that innocent people were slaughtered on command in gas and death chambers. These inhumane ideas originated in single person’s mind, yet they could be carried out to extreme scale, if large number of people obeyed orders. Obedience is psychological mechanism that links individual action to political purpose. Obedience may be educative and refer to acts of kindness or charity, as well as to destruction. General Procedure

Milgram developed an intimidating shock generator, with shock levels starting at 30 volts and increasing in 15-volt increments all the way up to 450 volts. The switches were labeled with terms including "slight shock," "moderate shock" and "danger: severe shock." Each participant took the role of a "teacher," who would then deliver a shock to the "student" every time an incorrect answer was produced. While the participant believed that he was delivering real shocks to the student, the student was actually a confederate in the experiment who was simply pretending to be shocked. The order to administer shocks are given to subject in context of “learning experiment” to study the effects of punishment on memory. As shock got higher the subject begin to build internal resistance and subject refused to go on with...
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