domingo, 12 de dezembro de 2010
''Obedience'' Milgram's experiment (1962)
2/3 ''Obedience'' Milgram's experiment (1962)
3/3 ''Obedience'' Milgram's experiment (1962)
"In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; ... Only one participant steadfastly refused to administer shocks below the 300-volt level."
"The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.
The experiments began in July 1961, ...
Milgram summarized the experiment in his 1974 article, "The Perils of Obedience", writing: "... Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority."
Professor Milgram elaborated two theories explaining his results:
I. The first is the theory of conformism, based on Solomon Asch conformity experiments, describing the fundamental relationship between the group of reference and the individual person. A subject who has neither ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy. The group is the person's behavioral model.
II. The second is the agentic state theory, wherein, per Milgram, the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person's wishes, and he therefore no longer sees himself as responsible for his actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow.
In his book Irrational Exuberance, Yale Finance Professor Robert Shiller argues that other factors might be partially able to explain the Milgram Experiments: "[People] have learned that when experts tell them something is all right, it probably is, even if it does not seem so. (In fact, it is worth noting that in this case the experimenter was indeed correct: it was all right to continue giving the 'shocks' — even though most of the subjects did not suspect the reason.)"
Milgram himself provides some anecdotal evidence to support this position. In his book, he quotes an exchange between a subject (Mr. Rensaleer) and the experimenter. The subject had just stopped at 255 V, and the experimenter tried to prod him on by saying: "There is no permanent tissue damage." Mr. Rensaleer answers: "Yes, but I know what shocks do to you. I'm an electrical engineer, and I have had shocks ... and you get real shook up by them — especially if you know the next one is coming. I'm sorry."
Recent variations on Milgram's experiment suggest an interpretation requiring neither obedience nor authority, but suggest that participants suffer learned helplessness, where they feel powerless to control the outcome, and so abdicate their personal responsibility. In a recent experiment using a computer simulation in place of the learner receiving electrical shocks, the participants administering the shocks were aware that the learner was unreal, but still showed the same results.
Replications and variations
In Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (1974), Milgram describes 19 variations of his experiment, some of which had not been previously reported.
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