Philip Zimbardo's Milgram Experiment

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People are born with a balanced amount of good and evil within them. Certain actions or influences can trigger ones good or evil side. This was tested by the psychologist and Stanford professor, Philip Zimbardo. He conducted an experiment in 1973 to test whether the brutality of guards was situational or dispositional, or in other words, whether it was due to the circumstances they were under or simply due to sadistic personalities they possessed. His plan was to use a mock prison in Stanford’s basement and gather a sample size of especially selected volunteers. Then, that sample size was to be divided in two and each would play either the role of a prisoner or a guard. It was to be as realistic as possible, having guards work 8-hour shifts…show more content…
1963’S Milgram experiment is similar to the aforementioned Stanford Prison experiment. In this experiment, participants were paired with someone else and played the role of either learner or teacher. The roles were manipulated so that the participant was the learner every time and the teacher was simply an actor. The learner was sat into a chair with electrodes capable of shocking them using a voltage range from 15 volts to 450 volts. They had to learn a set of words and “recall its partner/pair from a list of four possible choices”, however, they would purposely get answers wrong, forcing the teacher to shock them. Whenever they would refuse to conduct a shock, and of the four “prods” was said, and if the teacher was still in denial the next “prod” implying how important it was that they go with the experiment was said. The results were shocking, “65% of the participants continued to the highest level of 450 volts.” One would think that the participant wouldn’t take a life for a $5 pay, but since they wouldn’t technically be held accountable for the death per say, they felt the need to be obedient. This showing the effect of seeing a tall man in a white coat; intimidation plays a big role in obedience. If the person telling you to keep increasing the voltage wasn’t a man of power, you wouldn’t feel forced to do what he says. Regular people are not unlikely to…show more content…
Since his theory is that people become evil and are born with the trait, one can suppose that he believes in babies being born as blank slates. If people are born as blank slates, how can you explain children in their young years portraying evil traits? John Venables and Robert Thompson, two 10 year olds from Liverpool killed James Bulger, a two year old. As explained in the article by Mirror, the two kids abducted James while he was “with his mother Denise in the Strand shopping centre on February 12, 1993.” Apparently, “Venables and Thompson had thrown stones and bricks, kicked and stamped on James before finally dropping a heavy iron bar on to (him)… They hid his body under the bricks so that the first train to come along cut his body in two, but he was already dead before this happened.” It is terrifying to even think about two little kids, not even pre-teens, with normal lives doing such beastly things, especially to a child. You’d think that a regular child would be able to recognize what is acceptable and what is not, and if not, they should be able to at least recognize that killing and doing vile things like that is sadistic; kids that are not able to feel empathy, are called child psychopaths. According to the article “Psychopaths, Children and Evil” for Psychology Today, “They have few mirror neurons and the pain, empathy and fear centers in

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