Obedience According To Dr. Stanley Milgram's Study

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Obedience is a form of social influence where a person acts in response to a direct order from another individual who is an authoritative figure. Sometime the order violates their morals and ethical codes. According to Dr. Stanley Milgram, people obey ether out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative even when acting against the own better judgement and desire. Dr. Milgram a psychologist at Yale University desires was to investigate scientifically how people could be capable of doing great harm to other, if they are ordered to do so, by a person in authority. Dr. Milgram came up with an experiment that focuses on why people have the tendency to obey authoritative figures. In order for Dr. Milgram to study the behavior, he designed …show more content…
The teacher and researcher went into the room next door that contained the electric shock generator box. The generator has a row of switches marked from 15 volts (Slight Shock) to 375 volts (Danger: Severe Shock) to 450 volts. The teacher (subject) would read the list of words and then test the learner’s (confederate) memory. The experimenter would administer an electric shock each time the learner (confederate) responded incorrectly. The subjects (teachers) were unaware that shocks were not really being delivered, and the learner (confederate) was just acting. The confederate’s responses were programmed to be correct or wrong in the same sequence for all the subjects. As the amount of voltage increased with incorrect answers, the learner (confederate) began to shout in discomfort. After 300 voltages, the learner became completely silent and refused to answer any more question. The teacher was instructed to treat this lack of response as an incorrect response, and whenever the subject (teacher) turned to the experimenter for guidance, he would order the subject to continue. The measure of obedience was taken by recording the level of shock at which subject refused to continue. However, since there were only 30 switches on the generator, each subject (teacher) received a score of 0 to 30. In the completion of the experiment, all subjects were debriefed on the study, because of the …show more content…
Milgram discovers that physical and emotional distance of the victim from the teacher. He discovered that when the victim is in a different room with the teacher. The obedience level was 90% but when the victim was in the same room with the teacher. The obedience level dropped down to 30%. The closer the experimenter is with the teacher, the greater the obedience. However, when the participants were allowed to punish the learner by using any lever of shock, no one ever pressed any switch higher than 45 volt. In conclusion, the fate of our obedience still remains under the influence of today’s society. The experiment may have been a fake, and no one actually received a shock. Is it ethical that human are willing to shock someone, possibly to death because a person in authority figure tells you to do so? The answer to the question is probably people may obey out of fear, or they want to appear to be cooperative certain situation. Dr. Milgram’s experiment may not have delivered the actual shock treatment to the participants. However, it was extremely influential in our understanding of obedience.

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