Kayla McNutt Professor Williams English 1101-107 17 September 2013 The Obedience Test Stanley Milgram’s article, “The Perils of Obedience” focuses on the experiment he created to test society’s willingness to obey. In the experiment Milgram has one person who is a learner and another who delivers the shocks, the teacher. The focus of the experiment is on the person delivering the shocks because the “learner” is an actor. The learner’s role is to recite words to practice memorization. If he recites the words incorrectly the teacher has to administer a shock to the learner.
The learner would have to answer the correct word, and the consequence would be an electric shock. The shocks would begin at fifteen volts, and for every question the learner answered wrong, the shocks would increase by fifteen volts. The person delivering these shocks would be the teacher by use of a switch board. There was also an experimenter that overlooked the experiment that was in the same room as the learner. What the teacher did not know was that the learner was not actually receiving these shocks, and it was just a recording of the reactions made by the learner, such as shouts and screams.
Shawna McAnally Professor Spencer English 101-E102 4 September 2012 The Perils of Obedience In the article “ The Perils of Obedience”, written in 1963, Stanley Milgram, a Yale psychologist, explains the experiments he conducted to see how people would react when they would inflict pain on another individual. Obedience can be somewhat of a problem for people, when it comes to obeying a higher authority. The point of Milgram conducting these experiments was to show that obedience is stronger than moral and ethical conduct. The experiment he set up was to test human behavior on how one would react to obedience. Milgram’s experiment was taking two individuals – a teacher and a learner- and he would see how much the teacher would inflict pain upon the learner simply because he was following orders.
His work is considered fundamentally important and helps to understand how unremarkable people can do works of sickening cruelty. Milgram and obedience In his most noted experiment the volunteers thought that they 'take part in a study on memory' (Banyard, 2012, p. 67). The participants were called 'teacher' in this experiment. The 'teachers' were told by a fake scientist to administer electric shocks to a 'learner', who was sitting in another room, if the 'learner' forgets certain words he learned before. For every incorrect answer the 'teacher' had to increase the level of shock.
* For every incorrect answer the experimenter would order the ‘teacher’ to administer a shock increasing with every wrong answer. Even though the ‘learner’ complained of pain and demanded to be released the experimenter would insist the ‘teacher’ continue. * The learner was not being shocked, and his voice only a recording. * Results: Before his study Milgram asked a group of students to predict the result, he also introduced
My Lai Massacre Leading up to the massacre: In March 1968, Charlie Company of the American Division’s 11th Infantry Brigade received word that VC guerrillas had taken control of Son My. * Led by Lieutenant William L. Calley, the unit was sent to the village on a search-and-destroy mission on March 16. * At the time, morale among U.S. soldiers on the ground was dwindling, especially in the wake of the North Vietnamese-led Tet Offensive, which was launched on January 31 1968 * Army commanders had advised the soldiers of Charlie Company that all who were found in Son My could be considered VC or active VC sympathizers, and ordered them to destroy the village. * When they arrived, the soldiers found no Viet Cong, but rounded up and murdered hundreds of civilians–mostly women, children and old men–in an extremely brutal fashion, including rape and torture. * Calley was reported to have dragged dozens of people, including young children, into a ditch before executing them with a machine gun.
However, they were not told that it was they, the subjects, who will be experimented on. The learner is given a list of word pairs and has to memorize them. Then the learner has to remember the second word of the pair once the learner hears the first word. If the learner gives the incorrect answer then the teacher will shock him with electricity until he gets it right. Each time the learner is wrong the shock will get stronger.
What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred but I was unable to solve them.” Readers may also find it easy to sympathise with The Monster as Shelley is very critical of Frankenstein. For example, in Chapter 15 when the Monster is talking about Frankenstein’s journal that documented his creation, the Monster says ““Everything is related in them which bares reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set in view; the minutest description of my odious and loathsome person is given, in language which painted your own horrors and rendered mine indelible.
In “The Perils of Obedience”, Milgram was trying to prove a point that shows how far someone will go to be obedient to the authority. He began this experiment using three subjects: the experimenter, the teacher, and the learner, but only the teacher was clueless about what they were about to partake in. The teacher would read out a series of words, and the learner, who was strapped to an electric chair, was required to remember the words that were associated to each other (Milgram 215). When asked, if the learner gave the wrong answer, the teacher was required to give them an electric shock of “fifteen to four hundred fifty volts” (215). Although the teacher did not know it, the learner was actually an actor pretending to be in extreme pain when given the electrical shock to persuade the teacher to want to discontinue the experiment (215).
In “The Perils of Obedience”, Milgram was trying to prove a point that shows how far someone will go to be obedient to the authority. He began this experiment using three subjects: the experimenter, the teacher, and the learner, but only the teacher was clueless about what they were about to partake in. The teacher would read out a series of words, and the learner, who was strapped to an electric chair, was required to remember the words that were associated to each other (215). When asked, if the learner gave the wrong answer, the teacher was required to give them an electric shock of “fifteen to four hundred fifty volts” (215). Although the teacher did not know it, the learner was actually an actor pretending to be in extreme pain when given the electrical shock to persuade the teacher to want to discontinue the experiment (215).