The Perils of Obedience

1520 Words7 Pages
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. Milgram wanted to see how far the teacher would go. Milgram put the teacher and learner in two separate rooms. The teacher actually believes that they will be giving shocks to the learner, but the learner is actually an actor who receives no shock at all who knows what is going on. The learner was put in a room with an electric chair, where he sat with his wrist strapped down and an electrode attached to his head. And the learner is to read a list of word pairs and he is tested on his memorization on the second word of the pair when he hears the first word again. When the learner gets the word wrong, the teacher will shock him with electric shocks, and each time the learner gets a word wrong the teacher will increase the voltage intensity. In the experiment the teacher is actually the subject. The teacher is seated in front of a shock generator. The panel on the generator has thirty levels of switches, each labeled with a voltage from 15 to 450 volts. The labels on this generator were: Slight Shock, Moderate Shock, Strong Shock, Very Strong Shock, Intense Shock, Extreme
Open Document