Milgram Theory

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Introduction to Social Science
Mid-Term Essay
on Social Scientist ( Milgram Stanley)

Lee, Gi-woung (2010110845)
Part 1 - A brief summary of who the person is and what they've accomplished. Stanley Milgram was born in 15th of August, 1933 in New York city. He was very smart during his childhood and he was rather interested in science than sports, when comparing with his friends. He attended Queens college and received a bachelor's degree in Political Science. He then went to Harvard, by his second trial and studied social psychology. Later, he became a professor in Yale University. Stanley Milgram is known for Milgram experiment, Small world experiment and Familiar stranger. The Milgram experiment is the most controversial study conducted by him. With the result of his experiment, Milgram published a book "Obedience to Authority" which covered all of the experimental conditions of his study. He served his time in CUNY (City University of New York) until his death by heart attack in 1984. Part 2 - Explain one theory that this social scientist is responsible for Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment that was originally proceeded in order to understand how could German (Nazis) could permit the extermination of Jews during WW II. He was curious about how is it possible that ordinary people can act inhumanely without any limitations of conscious. In 1962, the Milgram Obedience Experiment was conducted with its groundbreaking results, revealing about the tensions between individual and society increasingly relevant to contemporary life. To test his theory, study of obedience, he invented a shock board, voltages range from 45 volts to 450 volts. In ascending order, raw of buttons marked to the amount of voltage one person would inflict upon another, voltages ranged from 45 volts to 450 volts and indicated on the shock board as slight shock to xx danger severe shock. There were 40 subjects, between 20~50 years old and all male due to its constancy, an experimenter and an actor in this experiment. Subjects and an actor were separated in two different rooms. The given condition was if a subject makes a mistake, a shock will be given to the actor and the shock increases 1 step in each errors. People followed instructions well under standardized procedure until they made mistakes, increasing voltage levels. The actor on the other side of the room started to express vivid pain by making noise, "get me out of here, why you bother me?". During this experiment, one subject said, "I had a lot of choice, I wouldn't go any further" and stopped his experiment. Surprisingly, others reacted different as the voltage went up. There were cases of laughing hysterically and inappropriately, giggling, sweating, biting nails and so on and, most importantly, they did not stop until the maximum voltage. From 60~65% of the subjects went all the way to the shock board. Stanley Milgram carried out total 18 variations of test. In conclusion, the original intension of the experiment was somewhat mislead and raised the issue of authority - ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure or power, even to the level of killing innocent human beings. Stanley Milgram's experiment left many ideas to current psychologist and this experiment would never be conducted again due to ethical issues.

Part 3 - Analyze the theory. Explain how it is applied to certain situations. Write about the good points and bad points of this theory. Do you agree or disagree with the theory? How so? The experiment of Milgram Obedience test was somewhat interesting and shocking to me. In our society, there are many news papers filled with dictatorships, inhumane crimes and suicidal terrorism and so on. What people tend to think by reading these articles is that it is wrong and those who conduct such things are abnormal, even psychopathic. However by carefully looking at Milgram Obedience experiment, I believe that people are affected by figure of...
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