I always had a suspicion that people were more followers than leaders. However, I never really understood to the extent to which people were sheep-like in their decisions. After reading about the milgram experiment, I found that out exactly and the responses honestly frightened me. In this experiment,participants were asked to play a teacher and deliver different voltage shocks to a participant supposedly hooked up on the other side - the machine going to a lethal dosage. Here's a video to explain it better than I ever could:
Over 66% of the time, people didn't quit just because there was an experimenter telling them to continue. The fact that authority figures were telling them to do something and there was no other consequences of stopping than to annoy the man in the white coat actually pushed these people into complete obedience. This experiment by itself taught me to just always question the legitimacy of authority no matter how it seems and to always be certain and conscious of my actions. The principles applied in this experiment are demonstrated throughout history and large travesties such as the Holocaust can be avoided if more people were to study these types of effects. Oh it also taught me to never trust men in white coats.