Damaging Obedience

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Before taking this class, I was unaware of the Milgram experiment. And yet, I think it is incredible that prior to the testing, the psychology faculty at Yale predicted that less than 1% of individuals would continue to shock the "learner" despite their repeating screams of pain. However, Milgram proved them wrong. What he found was that a large percentage of participants continued to shock - approximately 62% followed his orders with complete compliance.

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Secondly, we can see how science (or the scientific method) is not only beneficial, but crucial for innovation. It wasn't until Milgram questioned the power of conformity in humans. What if he would have simply gone along with the faculty's original thoughts? As we recently learned, conformity in humans is very evident. Milgram himself could have easily conformed to match the view of the faculty, but he went out on a limb and tried something new. And in doing so, unraveled a critical part for understanding destructive obedience.

I believe this experiment shows us relatively how little we know about human psychology. Yes - we are learning and developing our knowledge, but we must never stop questioning "why." Even if it is blatantly obvious. Just like in this experiment, one would assume that people would For better or worse, the results showed us that humans can do cruel things. I will remember this experiment because it exemplifies the frightening power of persuasion.

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This page contains a single entry by schus193 published on December 4, 2011 10:32 PM.

Cognitive Biases in Everyday Life was the previous entry in this blog.

Behaviorism and Me is the next entry in this blog.

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