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Thread: Milgram's obedience experiment - "take 2"

  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    There is a variation of the experiment that I'd like to conduct, with the tester having an audience besides the "scientist", with this audience reacting with horror and disapproval and/or encouragement to be "scientific". I would like to see the effect of competing/reinforcing social expectations with the supposed "authority figure".
    I would like to see that also. A weak competing condition was tested:
    Even when another actor entered the room and questioned what was happening, most were still prepared to continue.
    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    I'm very interested in social psych as well, but with a less ethical slant and more directed towards public policy-making and the judicial system. I was intrigued by the results of the Miligram and Stanford studies during my sophomore year of college; it dovetailed with my interest in comparative mythology and social roles. Joseph Campbell was once quoted as saying that it was "unreasonable" to prosecute soldiers as civilians for acts performed during war because they are "playing a role". I made the connection between this "role-playing" and "learned helplessness", where people decide that they cannot take responsibility because they have no effect on the outcome.
    Neat! It's bystander apathy even when people aren't bystanders! "I don't know if it's right or not, I just work here."

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    Also, how an existing paradigm and subliminal messages can change the "data" that is taken in by a person.
    Another strong interest of mine, relating this to both spiritual and moral paradigms.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Array placebo's Avatar
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    May 2008


    "The Perils of Obedience" right--this is what Milgram himself wrote.

    The problem of obedience 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 people 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 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. A person does not get to see the whole situation but only a small part of it, and is thus unable to act without some kind of overall direction. He yields to authority but in doing so is alienated from his own actions.
    The Perils of Obedience - Stanley Milgram

  3. #13
    movin melodies Array kiddykat's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    4, 7


    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    It's not surprising I guess, there are many sheep who blindly follow rules and authority figures out there in the real world, I think something like 60% were prepared to do it to the maximum voltage requested of them, and only 1 person refused to do it after a point no matter how much prodding was given.

    Was really an interesting read.
    Certainly. I remember having a discussion about the Milgram's test in class once. From what I recall, it turns out the few people who refused to apply to electric shocks weren't surprisingly the more self-actualized individuals.

    I think it's about consciousness. The more self-actualized a person is, the more conscientious they are about their actions & how they treat others. I also don't think that we always need to meet the lower level of needs to achieve this, as in Maslow's pyramid of needs (food, safety, sex and so on). People, when put through the most trying circumstances (ex- Nelson Mandela) still maintain their composure, despite environmental conditions. I don't think monks are less self-actualized just b/c they don't have sex (that's besides the point..I'm getting a little off-track here and I'm finally getting tired lol).

    Interesting thread. Sometimes situational factors are so strong that it may lead people to make decisions they normally don't do, but I also think that it's good to not make excuses for oneself, especially when it comes to other people's lives. It's like making excuses for what happened in Nazi Germany. People really do need to hold themselves accountable for what they do to others. - Self-integrity is important.

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