The Milgram Study

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Among many chapters we've gone through there is a particular study that I remember, the Milgram study. The video we watched had brought upsetting result, but I thought that the Milgram study may help me to be a better leader and moral individual.The striking results of the Milgrim study reported that more than 50% of its participants actually delivered the maximum shock under the instruction of a single researcher. The researchers administered potentially dangerous voltages of electric shock to confederate participants to reveal man's tendency for unquestioning compliance to authority. These findings are quite disturbing and unsettling to me because, honestly, I admit that I am compliant to authority. I feel I would be susceptible to control by an authority figure, and I would just passed my moral thoughts by the instruction in the high level.

Through this experiment, the researchers concluded "the ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority"(Milgram 1974). I think this study is a great example of demonstrating the dangers of obedience. I believe that obedience is heavily influenced by both personal beliefs and overall temperaments, but the power of temperaments seem little more powerful. So, I realize that I have to take step to guard myself against unwelcome or reprehensible commands (which against my moral nature), and that can influence other people positively.



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This blog post brings up a very interesting topic regarding how far is too far. When you had mentioned the fact that obedience could most definitely be taken to the next level as it does in the Milgram study, I had to agree. To think of the things that you are influenced by on a daily basis only makes this more relevant. We are influenced by simple conversations with our peers and to think if an authoritative figure, as the person is in the study, I tend to believe that you would not be the only one to fall to this trick.

I think it is important to take into account how morally right something is whenever dealing with authority. I tend to be one to question authority in general because its always good to test how credible a person is, and then make a decision based on if you think its right or wrong. Everyone falls victim to taking orders from someone that is perceived to have greater power or knowledge of something, it just has to come down to if your okay with that, or are a good or terrible person to begin with. It's like hitler and the nazi's.

This test was also very disturbing to me when I first heard of it. The movie was even more revealing and disheartening in class. It is crazy to think that some people will injure people just because someone tells them too. That white coat mentality where people will just listen to higher authority is weird but seems very true from self-witnesses. i think we will continue to injure someone just because we don't see them actually suffering from the pain. The participants would administer a less amount of voltage if they could actually see the people suffering, even though it never actually happened.

Yes Daniella, the Milgram study often affects people strongly since we don't often question authority because we feel that someone in an authority position should know what they are doing and are trustworthy.

Now that you know that this is not always the case and that you should not always automatically comply with the requests of an authority figure, you can exert a little more control to follow your own moral standards and prevent yourself from doing something you may regret later.

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This page contains a single entry by choxx373 published on April 22, 2012 11:17 PM.

Combating Prejudice was the previous entry in this blog.

To soft, to hard, or Just right? is the next entry in this blog.

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