In five years, I will remember so many things that I have learned in Psychology 1001. However, one thing that will forever be engraved in my mind is the Milgram Experiment. This was one interesting thing to learn about, that's for sure. If you don't remember what this is exactly, here's a quick summary:
Participants were given a sheet of questions to ask a person in another room. If the person in the other room answered incorrectly, the participant had to give the other an electric shock. The voltage increased little by little after every wrong answer. The participant in the separate room was not actually receiving these shocks, but this was unknown by the person giving out the increasing shocks. There would be screams coming from the other room, making it seem to the other participant that the other was actually being shocked. A person in uniform would tell the participant to continue, and they explained to them that this was a very important experiment; without their participation, it would be a complete failure. In the end, the participant would basically have to either listen to the authoritative figure (KEEP GOING!) or their own personal conscience (STOP!).
I thought that this was a very interesting thing to learn about because, whether we want to believe it or not, most of us do what we're told when ordered by someone in an authoritative position, be it a teacher, a police officer or a doctor. After learning about this (and watching the video), it kind of shocked me how some people kept going to the very last voltage, despite the screaming that they heard, which did turn into silence towards the end. It is scary to think that some people will do ANYTHING when told to by a person in uniform. Intimidation plays a huge role in that, but I guess it's just something that everyone must work on: to listen to their conscience! What is morally right is always much more important than what is SAID to be right. Think about it.
This made me think of the Nazis and Hitler. They would all listen to him because he was a man in uniform with lots of power. They were intimidated by the amount of power that he held, and, therefore, did not want to be punished. It is crazy to think about how the human mind works. Everyone is selfish. Everyone. But I'll leave that rant for another stormy day...