Stanley Milgrim Explained Essay

646 WordsMay 14, 20123 Pages
Justin Swayze April 22, 2012 Week 7, Psychology Dr. Norkin During the 1960’s, Stanley Milgram, a Yale University psychologist, conducted several experiments regarding obedience. The results of those experiments delivered some rather surprising findings, perhaps even disturbing to some. Stanley Milgram once stated; “The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.” (Stanley Milgram , 1974) Milgram began conducting his experiments in 1961 following the trial of Adolf Eichman. (The Perils of Obedience, pg. 62-77) The trial caught particular attention to Milgram because of the defensive stand Eichman took on the situation. Eichman, who was being charged with ordering the mass killings of many Jews, professed that he was simply taking orders and following instructions. In Milgrims book published in 1974 he posed the question; “Could it be that Eichman and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” This question would lay s the triggering factor in the experiments. So how would Milgram go about answering his question? He would do what any other psychiatrist would do, test it, and by that I mean recruit test subjects and perform an experiment. Milgram then would recruit 40 men by way of a news paper ad and in exchange for their participation he offered payment of $4.50. (Internet source- The experiment was set up using a shock generator that consisted of different levels of shock to be delivered to an individual. Those levels ranged from 30 volts increasing in 15 volt increments up to 450 volts. Furthermore the test was set up with a participant being labeled “teacher” and then a “student” who would be asked a series of questions.

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