Ordinary People Are Likely To Follow Orders Given by an Authority Figure, Even to the Extent of Killing an Innocent Human Being!!!
A teacher asks a question..
The student gets it wrong…
The teacher flicks a switch and gives the student an electric shock. Nothing big.. Only 15 volts…
The teacher asks another question
The student again gets it wrong
The teacher again flicks a switch and gives the student another electric shock… Only this time it is 30 volts…
This cycle continues, each time the shock is increased up to 45 volts.
There are 30 switches going all the way up to 450 volts. Enough to kill a man if it is a sustained shock. Definitely enough to inflict sever injuries.
As the student gets more panicked with each increased shock, they get more answers wrong… and therefore the voltage increases…
The teacher starts to worry as they watch the student writhe and scream in pain with each increasing shock. They look to the facilitator and the facilitator simply states
“It is absolutely essential that you continue”
“You have no choice but to continue”
And so the cycle continues, each time raising the voltage…
The teacher… is a volunteer in an experiment
The student… is an actor (but the teacher doesn’t know this)
The facilitator… is running the experiment.
This was the MILGRAM SHOCK EXPERIMENT conducted in 1963.
It was a study in ‘obedience to authority and personal conscience’
Its purpose? To examine justifications for acts of genocide offered by those accused at the World War II, NUREMBERG WAR CRIMINAL TRIALS.
𝟔𝟓% (𝐭𝐰𝐨-𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐫𝐝𝐬) 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 (𝐢.𝐞., 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬) 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝟒𝟓𝟎 𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐭𝐬. 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝟑𝟎𝟎 𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐭𝐬.
Milgram did more than one experiment – he carried out 18 variations of his study. All he did was alter the situation (IV) to see how this affected obedience (DV).
“Ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being. Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all from the way we are brought up. People tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or legally based. This response to legitimate authority is learned in a variety of situations, for example in the family, school, and workplace”
𝐄𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲, 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐚𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐚𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲.
Fast Forward to 2021…