Stanley Milgram

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Social environment plays a very important role in our actions, decisions and generally in our life. We are greatly influenced by it, and often our susceptibility to social influence reflects our personal inclinations and features which are shown in different situations but in usual life cannot be seen because of general social moral standards.


The respondents ("teachers") should switch on electric shocks of different voltage if "learners" (persons recruited by Milgram) made mistakes in their responses. The experiment showed that "65% of his subjects, ordinary residents of New Haven, were willing to give apparently harmful electric shocks-up to 450 volts-to a pitifully protesting victim, simply because a scientific authority commanded them to" (Milgram Basics). So, there is a question: is it possible that an ordinary person (e.g. the teacher) will obey authority so blindly that they will harm another (e.g. the learner) As the experiment shows, it is rather possible, and this possibility is determined by our attitude to authority and the features of human nature. In the experiment the respondents were said that the experimenter was responsible for the punishment results, and "teachers" decided to punish the "learners" having taken into account this fact. But in addition to that, the "teachers" were less willing to punish in the following cases: when the experimenter communicated with them via telephone, and when the "teachers" should held the "learner's" hand on the shock plate. ...
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