Stanley Milgram's Study: The Behavioral Study Of Obedience
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In the 1960’s after World War II there was intense interest and confusion in how leaders, such as Adolf Hitler, could command so many Germans to murder Jews. Many people thought the Germans willingly ended the lives of thousands. Later, German soldiers who said they did not want to kill the Jewish people challenged this view. Now the question was: why would Germans obey commands they disagreed with?
This question confused many scholars, until Stanley Milgram decided to conduct this study to find out how obedience works, it was called the Behavioral Study of Obedience. The study took place in 1963 in the Yale University, interaction laboratory. The subjects consisted of 40 men between the ages of 20 and 50. Milgram found the men through a newspaper advertisement. The men were from different walks of life with different education levels. Milgram set up the…show more content… Every single one of the men who were the teacher in the experiment exceeded the estimated breakoff point. The majority of the teachers went through the entire experiment without breaking off at all. Of the 40 men a total of 14 men defied the actor who was prompting them to continue and did not complete the entire experiment. Many of the men became very nervous with the experiment and reacted in different ways, i.e. biting of the lip, nervous laughter.
Milgram’s study found results that surprised the world. His experiment showed that humans tend to obey rather than do what they morally believe is right. People have been told from birth not to hurt one another, children are also taught to obey their parents and those in authority. When these two values that have been taught to us all of our lives come into conflict, the majority of the time obedience is the path that people choose to follow. The study also shows that defying moral beliefs causes a great amount of stress and tension for an individual, but it is not considered as important as the need to