The Perils Of Obedience In A Few Good Men By Aaron Sorkin

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A Few Good Men was written by Aaron Sorkin and it is about a lawyer trying to defend two marines accused of murder. The two marines claimed to have received an order to discipline another marine and killed him in the process. The lawyer, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, then has to gather evidence for this claim and eventually get Colonel Jessep to state he gave the marines the order. The story encompasses many factors of obedience to authority and peer pressure and shows what can happen when orders are followed blindly. Many experiments and studies have taken place to explain why people follow orders even if it might violate their morals and result in someone getting hurt. One of these experiments is Stanley Milgram’s experiment covered in his article …show more content…
His experiment included a teacher (the subject), a student (an actor), and an ominous “torture” machine which the subjects were told could give shocks up to 450 volts. The teacher gave the questions verbally to the student. If the student answered incorrectly the teacher had to shock them with the machine even though there was actually no shock given. The teachers had to increase the voltage for each wrong answer given in some variations of the experiment, in others they could choose whichever voltage they wanted. The student/actor would purposely give incorrect answers now and then and would act in pain whenever he was “shocked.” The experiment was designed “to see how far a person will proceed in a concrete and measurable situation in which he is ordered to inflict increasing pain on a protesting victim” (Milgram 79). Milgram discovered that many people were willing to go all the way to 450 volts when ordered by the experimenter. He concluded that the majority of people will go against their conscience if the authority shows unwavering power and determination to accomplish a …show more content…
Asch, a social psychologist at Rutgers University, describes an experiment which studied the effects of peer pressure. In this experiment, eight subjects and an experimenter are in a room together. All but one subject has been told by the experimenter to answer the questions incorrectly after the first couple rounds. The experimenter held two cards before the group, one had a vertical line segment, and the other had three line segments. The subjects had to say which of the three lines was the closest in length to the line on the other card. After the couple rounds, the majority of the students answered incorrectly so the experimenter could observe the one who was not in on the experiment. This person “is placed in a position in which, while...giving the correct answers, finds himself unexpectedly in a minority of one” (Asch 144). Asch finds that many, but not all, of the actual subjects will answer incorrectly with the majority because they feel pressured into doing

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