Stanley Milgram (August 15, 1933 – December 20, 1984) was an American social psychologist. He served on the faculty at Yale University, Harvard University, and the City University of New York. While at Yale, he conducted a series of experiments on obedience to authority, which have come to be known simply as the infamous "Milgram experiment." Milgram conducted several other studies, including the small-world experiment (source of the six degrees of separation concept), and also introduced the concept of familiar strangers.
Milgram's experiments shocked people with their implications about the dark aspects of human nature, especially since they showed that apparently normal people would behave in inhumane ways. For Milgram, however, they were more about the influence of the group on the individual than individual nature itself. He had begun his research asking whether it could be that those on trial as war criminals were just following orders, and would others have done the same. Professor Milgram elaborated two theories. The first is the theory of conformism, based on Solomon Asch conformity experiments, describing the fundamental relationship between the group of reference and the individual person. A subject, who has neither ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy. The group is the person's behavioral model. The second is the agentic state theory, wherein, per Milgram, "the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view themselves as the instrument for carrying out another person's wishes, and they therefore no longer see themselves as responsible for their actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow".
Milgram showed that human beings, people who one would not expect to behave