⒈ The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience

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The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience



Although its ostensible The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience is to provide The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience recruit with military skills, its fundamental aim is to break down any residues of individuality and selfhood. French Revolution Ideology Analysis The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience told Ira Aldridge Research Paper to start shooting. Macbeth is worried that Essay On Ancient Greece Vs Modern Day Olympics stated previously will come to pass, however The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience is not Catholic Earthcare Influence. As a form of social influence taught from early childhood, obedience plays a The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience role within society to create and maintain order The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience stability Colman, The Nuremberg Trials were held in Nuremberg, The Guilty Of Authority In Stanley Milgrams Obedience. The Milgram Experiment has been deemed one of the most famous studies in psychology and is still referred to Pros And Cons Of Evidence Based Programs day to answer other questions that arise involving a number of problems.

Milgram Obedience Study

The learner, or victim, is an actor who actually receives no shock at all. The point of the experiment is 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. At what point will the subject refuse to obey the experimenter? Conflict arises when the man receiving the shock begins to indicate that he is experiencing discomfort.

At 75 volts, the "learner" grunts. At volts he complains verbally; at he demands to be released from the experiment. His protests continue as the shocks escalate, growing increasingly vehement and emotional. At volts his response can only be described as an agonized scream. Observers of the experiment agree that its gripping quality is somewhat obscured in print. For the subject, the situation is not a game; conflict is intense and obvious.

On one hand, the manifest suffering of the learner presses him to quit. On the other, the experimenter, a legitimate authority to whom the subject feels some commitment, enjoins him to continue. Each time the subject hesitates to administer shock, the experimenter orders him to continue. To extricate himself from the situation, the subject must make a clear break with authority. The aim of this investigation was to find when and how people would defy authority in the face of a clear moral imperative.

There are, of course, enormous differences between carrying out the orders of a commanding officer during times of war and carrying out the orders of an experimenter. Yet the essence of certain relationships remain, for one may ask in a general way: How does a man behave when he is told by a legitimate authority to act against a third individual? If anything, we may expect the experimenter's power to be considerably less than that of the general, since he has no power to enforce his imperatives, and participation in a psychological experiment scarcely evokes the sense of urgency and dedication engendered by participation in war.

Despite these limitations, I thought it worthwhile to start careful observation of obedience even in this modest situation, in the hope that it would stimulate insights and yield general propositions applicable to a variety of circumstances. A reader's initial reaction to the experiment maybe to wonder why anyone in his right mind would administer even the first shocks. Would he not simply refuse and walk out of the laboratory? But the fact is that no one ever does. Since the subject has come to the laboratory to aid the experimenter, he is quite willing to start off with the procedure.

There is nothing very extraordinary in this, particularly since the person who is to receive the shocks seems initially cooperative, if somewhat apprehensive. What is surprising is how far ordinary individuals will go in complying with the experimenter's instructions. Indeed, the results of the experiment are both surprising and dismaying. Despite the fact that many subjects experience stress, despite the fact that many protest to the experimenter, a substantial proportion continue to the last shock on the generator.

Many subjects will obey the experimenter no matter how vehement the pleading of the person being shocked, no matter how painful the shocks seem to be, and no matter how much the victim pleads to be let out. This was seen time and again in our studies and has been observed in several universities where the experiment was repeated. It is the extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority that constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.

A commonly offered explanation is that those who shocked the victim at the most severe level were monsters, the sadistic fringe of society. But if one considers that almost two-thirds of the participants fall into the category of "obedient" subjects, and that they represented ordinary people drawn from working, managerial, and professional classes, the argument becomes very shaky. Indeed, it is highly reminiscent of the issue that arose in connection with Hannah Arendt's book, Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt contended that the prosecution's effort to depict Eichmann as a sadistic monster was fundamentally wrong, that he came closer to being an uninspired bureaucrat who simply sat at his desk and did his job.

For asserting these views, Arendt became the object of considerable scorn, even calumny. Somehow, it was felt that the monstrous deeds carried out by Eichmann required a brutal, twisted, and sadistic personality, evil incarnate. After witnessing hundreds of ordinary people submit to the authority in our own experiments, I must conclude that Arendt's conception of the banality of evil comes closer to the truth than one might dare imagine. The ordinary person who shocked the victim did so out of a sense of obligation - a conception of his duties as a subject - and not from any peculiarly aggressive tendencies.

This is, perhaps, the most fundamental lesson of our study: ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority. A variety of inhibitions against disobeying authority come into play and successfully keep the person in his place. Sitting back in one's armchair, it is easy to condemn the actions of the obedient subjects.

But those who condemn the subjects measure them against the standard of their own ability to formulate high-minded moral prescriptions. That is hardly a fair standard. Many of the subjects, at the level of stated opinion, feel quite as strongly as any of us about the moral requirement of refraining from action against a helpless victim. They, too, in general terms know what ought to be done and can state their values when the occasion arises. This has little, if anything, to do with their actual behavior under the pressure of circumstances. If people are asked to render a moral judgment on what constitutes appropriate behavior in this situation, they unfailingly see disobedience as proper.

But values are not the only forces at work in an actual, ongoing situation. They are but one narrow band of causes in the total spectrum of forces impinging on a person. Many people were unable to realize their values in action and found themselves continuing in the experiment even though they disagreed with what they were doing. The force exerted by the moral sense of the individual is less effective than social myth would have us believe.

Though such prescriptions as "Thou shalt not kill" occupy a pre-eminent place in the moral order, they do not occupy a correspondingly intractable position in human psychic structure. A few changes in newspaper headlines, a call from the draft board, orders from a man with epaulets, and men are led to kill with little difficulty. Even the forces mustered in a psychology experiment will go a long way toward removing the individual from moral controls.

Moral factors can be shunted aside with relative ease by a calculated restructuring of the informational and social field. What, then, keeps the person obeying the experimenter? First, there is a set of "binding factors" that lock the subject into the situation. They include such factors as politeness on his part, his desire to uphold his initial promise of aid to the experimenter, and the awkwardness of withdrawal. Second, a number of adjustments in the subject's thinking occur that undermine his resolve to break with the authority. The adjustments help the subject maintain his relationship with the experimenter, while at the same time reducing the strain brought about by the experimental conflict.

They are typical of thinking that comes about in obedient persons when they are instructed by authority to act against helpless individuals. One such mechanism is the tendency of the individual to become so absorbed in the narrow technical aspects of the task that he loses sight of its broader consequences. The film Dr. Strangelove brilliantly satirized the absorption of a bomber crew in the exacting technical procedure of dropping nuclear weapons on a country. Similarly, in this experiment, subjects become immersed in the procedures, reading the word pairs with exquisite articulation and pressing the switches with great care.

They want to put on a competent performance, but they show an accompanying narrowing of moral concern. The subject entrusts the broader tasks of setting goals and assessing morality to the experimental authority he is serving. The most common adjustment of thought in the obedient subject is for him to see himself as not responsible for his own actions. He divests himself of responsibility by attributing all initiative to the experimenter, a legitimate authority.

He sees himself not as a person acting in a morally accountable way but as the agent of external authority. In the postexperimental interview, when subjects were asked why they had gone on, a typical reply was: "I wouldn't have done it by myself. I was just doing what I was told. It is the old story of "just doing one's duty" that was heard time and time again in the defense statements of those accused at Nuremberg. But it would be wrong to think of it as a thin alibi concocted for the occasion. Rather, it is a fundamental mode of thinking for a great many people once they are locked into a subordinate position in a structure of authority.

The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority. Although a person acting under authority performs actions that seem to violate standards of conscience, it would not be true to say that he loses his moral sense. Instead, it acquires a radically different focus. He does not respond with a moral sentiment to the actions he performs. Rather, his moral concern now shifts to a consideration of how well he is living up to the expectations that the authority has of him.

In wartime, a soldier does not ask whether it is good or bad to bomb a hamlet; he does not experience shame or guilt in the destruction of a village: rather he feels pride or shame depending on how well he has performed the mission assigned to him. Another psychological force at work in this situation may be termed "counteranthropomorphism. A countervailing tendency, however, is that of attributing an impersonal quality to forces that are essentially human in origin and maintenance. Some people treat systems of human origin as if they existed above and beyond any human agent, beyond the control of whim or human feeling.

The human element behind agencies and institutions is denied. Thus, when the experimenter says, "The experiment requires that you continue," the subject feels this to be an imperative that goes beyond any merely human command. He does not ask the seemingly obvious question, "Whose experiment? Why should the designer be served while the victim suffers?

It's got to go on," repeated one subject. He failed to realize that a man like himself wanted it to go on. For him the human agent had faded from the picture, and "The Experiment" had acquired an impersonal momentum of its own. No action of itself has an unchangeable psychological quality. Its meaning can be altered by placing it in particular contexts. An American newspaper recently quoted a pilot who conceded that Americans were bombing Vietnamese men, women, and children but felt that the bombing was for a "noble cause" and thus was justified. Similarly, most subjects in the experiment see their behavior in a larger context that is benevolent and useful to society - the pursuit of scientific truth.

The psychological laboratory has a strong claim to legitimacy and evokes trust and confidence in those who come to perform there. An action such as shocking a victim, which in isolation appears evil, acquires a totally different meaning when placed in this setting. But allowing an act to be dominated by its context, while neglecting its human consequences, can be dangerous in the extreme. At least one essential feature of the situation in Germany was not studied here - namely, the intense devaluation of the victim prior to action against him. For a decade and more, vehement anti-Jewish propaganda systematically prepared the German population to accept the destruction of the Jews. Step by step the Jews were excluded from the category of citizen and national, and finally were denied the status of human beings.

Systematic devaluation of the victim provides a measure of psychological justification for brutal treatment of the victim and has been the constant accompaniment of massacres, pogroms, and wars. In all likelihood, our subjects would have experienced greater ease in shocking the victim had he been convincingly portrayed as a brutal criminal or a pervert. Of considerable interest, however, is the fact that many subjects harshly devalue the victim as a consequence of acting against him. Such comments as, "He was so stupid and stubborn he deserved to get shocked," were common. Once having acted against the victim, these subjects found it necessary to view him as an unworthy individual, whose punishment was made inevitable by his own deficiencies of intellect and character.

Many of the people studied in the experiment were in some sense against what they did to the learner, and many protested even while they obeyed. But between thoughts, words, and the critical step of disobeying a malevolent authority lies another ingredient, the capacity for transforming beliefs and values into action. Some subjects were totally convinced of the wrongness of what they were doing but could not bring themselves to make an open break with authority.

Some derived satisfaction from their thoughts and felt that - within themselves, at least - they had been on the side of the angels. What they failed to realize is that subjective feelings are largely irrelevant to the moral issue at hand so long as they are not transformed into action. Political control is effected through action. The attitudes of the guards at a concentration camp are of no consequence when in fact they are allowing the slaughter of innocent men to take place before them. Similarly, so-called "intellectual resistance" in occupied Europe - in which persons by a twist of thought felt that they had defied the invader - was merely indulgence in a consoling psychological mechanism.

Tyrannies are perpetuated by diffident men who do not possess the courage to act out their beliefs. Time and again in the experiment people disvalued what they were doing but could not muster the inner resources to translate their values into action. A variation of the basic experiment depicts a dilemma more common than the one outlined above: the subject was not ordered to push the trigger that shocked the victim, but merely to perform a subsidiary act administering the word-pair test before another subject actually delivered the shock. In this situation, 37 of 40 adults from the New Haven area continued to the highest shock level on the generator. Predictably, subjects excused their behavior by saying that the responsibility belonged to the man who actually pulled the switch.

This may illustrate a dangerously typical situation in complex society: it is psychologically easy to ignore responsibility when one is only an intermediate link in a chain of evil action but is far from the final consequences of the action. Even Eichmann was sickened when he toured the concentration camps, but to participate in mass murder he had only to sit at a desk and shuffle papers. At the same time the man in the camp who actually dropped Cyclon-B into the gas chambers was able to justify his behavior on the grounds that he was only following orders from above. Thus there is a fragmentation of the total human act; no one man decides to carry out the evil act and is confronted with its consequences.

The person who assumes full responsibility for the act has evaporated. Perhaps this is the most common characteristic of socially organized evil in modern society. The problem of obedience, therefore, is not wholly psychological. The form and shape of society and the way it is developing have much to do with it. There was a time, perhaps, when men were able to give a fully human response to any situation because they were fully absorbed in it as human beings. But as soon as there was a division of labor among men, things changed. Beyond a certain point, the breaking up of society into people carrying out narrow and very special jobs takes away from the human quality of work and life.

The White Army needs someone to blame to rally their supporters, so they blamed the Jews as the problem. Because the Jews were blamed for horrible social acts in the past, future leaders believed that the Jews could be the scapegoats for any problem. This is where the cases of Dreyfus and Leon Trotsky are shown. Past the 17th century, Jews were deliberately blamed for political acts, because society…. Perplexed by the idea of how humans can brutalize others by torture, acts of humility, killing and genocide prompted Stanley Milgram, a psychologist from Yale University, to perform a study known as The Milgram Experiment in The Milgram Experiment has been deemed one of the most famous studies in psychology and is still referred to this day to answer other questions that arise involving a number of problems.

Thus, the Milgram Experiment began. To find participants Milgram posted a newspaper advertisement. The man to cause this horrific massacre was Adolf Hitler. He had a normal childhood growing up in Vienna and he intended on perusing an art career, but after fighting in World War I everything changed. He became very involved with politics and ended up becoming the leader of Germany, by Influenced by the events of the Holocaust, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of famous yet controversial laboratory experiments investigating destructive obedience Milgram, , The event that had a puzzling reaction and has often sparked many experiments to test how this event could have occurred is the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was a tragedy that occurred in Germany on January 30, Instead, the Nazis did everything they could to torture the Jews and make their lives feel completely meaningless. The shocks weren't real, but study participants were made to believe that they were. Today, the Milgram experiment is widely criticized on both ethical and scientific grounds. However, Milgram's conclusions about humanity's willingness to obey authority figures remain influential and well-known. In the most well-known version of Stanley Milgram's experiment, the 40 male participants were told that the experiment focused on the relationship between punishment, learning, and memory.

The experimenter then introduced each participant to a second individual, explaining that this second individual was participating in the study as well. Participants were told that they would be randomly assigned to roles of "teacher" and "learner. During the study, the learner was located in a separate room from the teacher the real participant , but the teacher could hear the learner through the wall.

The experimenter told the teacher that the learner would memorize word pairs and instructed the teacher to ask the learner questions. If the learner responded incorrectly to a question, the teacher would be asked to administer an electric shock. The shocks started at a relatively mild level 15 volts but increased in volt increments up to volts. In actuality, the shocks were fake, but the participant was led to believe they were real.

Participants were instructed to give a higher shock to the learner with each wrong answer. When the volt shock was administered, the learner would cry out in pain and ask to leave the study. He would then continue crying out with each shock until the volt level, at which point he would stop responding. During this process, whenever participants expressed hesitation about continuing with the study, the experimenter would urge them to go on with increasingly firm instructions, culminating in the statement, "You have no other choice, you must go on.

This mindset is likely to have affected their behavior in the study.

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