Obeying An Authority Figure Research

1214 Words 5 Pages
Obeying an Authority Figure Isn’t Always the Best Decision
Why do individuals follow an authority figures’ instructions if it meant possibly harming another person? This situation was tested in the Milgram experiment to get a better understanding of why the Nazi’s followed orders that resulted in killing thousands of Germans during the Holocaust. In most cases, people would not harm another individual, but it’s an authority figure who is giving the commands so it is hard to say “no”. People obey authority in unfamiliar circumstances when others could be harmed because they think the authority figure is legitimate, morally right and that the authority figure will take responsibility. Though it is a norm to follow authority figures orders, it is not always the right thing to do.
The Milgram Experiment was conducted to see how far people would go in following an authority figures’ orders before they would simply stop obeying. The experiment was conducted in 1961 by Stanley Milgram at Yale University to get a better understanding
…show more content…
When the experiment was done at Yale University, sixty-five percent of teachers administered the 450 volts, compared to only forty-eight percent when the experiment was done in a run down building (Psychology). The uniform of the experimenter consisted of a gray lab coat, nothing else. When another person replaced the experimenter, in ordinary clothes, the obedience level dropped tremendously. It was a mere twenty percent (Psychology). The power of a uniform was later proven by Leonard Bickman. He had three male actors: one dressed in normal clothes, one dressed as a milkman, and one as a security guard. To no one 's surprise, more people obeyed the security guard than the other two. Considering the teachers believed the experimenters were legitimate authority figures, they often went against their own morals to please the

Related Documents