Milgram's Seminar Research
After the Nazi atrocities, during the Second World War, towards the Jews, many people wondered how people could have been so sadist and committed such behaviors. The Nazi's death camps were where Jews were tortured and killed by skilled administrative personnel, and these administrators were decent German citizens. Many people still wonder the reasons that could have motivated them to participate in such obnoxious behaviors. Milgram (1974) carried out of the most fascinated experiments to investigate the motive that makes people obey the authority.
Objective of this study is to discuses Milgram's research that focuses on obedience to authority.
Milgram's Experimental Methodology
Stanly Milgram's, a psychologist, carried out one of the most controversial experiments to investigate the obedience to authority. The participants were recruited from all walks of life and were divided into two groups. A group was to play the role of teachers, while the other group was to play the role of learners while Milgram played the role of an authority. The participants were also given the token fees of $4.00 in order to encourage them participating in one hour experiment.
Teachers' roles were to administer increasing level of electric shocks on learners for any incorrect answer. Milgram labeled the shock levels from 15 to 450 volts and volts were labeled:
slight shock, moderate shock, strong shock, very strong shock, intense shock, and Extreme intensity shock.
In reality, the electric shocks delivered were just 45-volts. The strategy was to make teachers believe that they were inflicting high level of electric shocks on learners. The teachers were asked to deliver...
As the experiment continued, the learners would plead to be released. Once the teachers increased the volts to 300 volts, the learners would bang on the wall and would be demanding to be released. As electric volts were increasing, some students were completely silent, however, the teachers were asked to treat the silence as an incorrect answer. As the intensity of the shock increased, the learners yelled in pain, however, the experimenter ordered the teachers to continue administering the electric shocks. Although agitating and nervous, however astonishingly, more than two thirds of the teachers obeyed the order and administered the higher shocks on learners despite that the level of volts was as high as 450 volts.
Milgram concluded from the results of the experiments that when an authority ordered people to do something, they would carry out the order even if the acts violate their conscious. The results of the Milgram experiments assist in understanding the motive of Nazi's crimes. Milgrams suggested that people would commit the holocausts in order to obey the authorities even when the obedience is wrong. To validate the results, Milgram carried out the same experiments with totally different set of people and recorded the same results.
Recent research also agrees that people will still be ready to obey the authority. Burger, (2009) experiment also reveals that the obedient to authority remains unchanged after more than 50 years of Milgram's experiment. Although, the compliance rates are slightly lower than the rates recorded by Milgram, however, Burger still finds no difference on the rate of obedience to authority between men and women. Burger implemented the same experiment by allowing the teachers to produce a level of electric shocks, between 15 volts and 450 volts, on learners. Similar to Milgram strategy, Burger also pays a token fee of $50 to encourage people to participate, although, 150 volts are the critical point…
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