The Ecologist

 
FAIRTRADE_JUN03_MAIN_1.jpg
More articles about
Related Articles

Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment

Tom Stafford

1st June, 2003

In the 1960s psychologist Stanley Milgram tested a cross section of ordinary Americans to see if they’d administer potentially lethal electric shocks to a mild-mannered little man, sitting in an electric chair. The findings stunned the world.

Yale University professor Stanley Milgram’s 1960s’ experiments were perhaps the most important ever performed in psychology. He was interested in ‘the dilemma of obedience’, in how ordinary people could be induced to abandon their moral instincts by malevolent authority. While Milgram was specifically motivated by a desire to understand the Nazis, his findings may just as easily explain our complacency about the injustices of the global economy.

The participants in Milgram’s tests were recruited via a newspaper advertisement for ‘an experiment on learning and memory’ that promised $4.50 for one hour’s work. In the waiting room of Yale’s psychology department they met, on separate occasions, another ‘volunteer’ (actually an actor) – a small, friendly, middle-aged man with glasses. Then the stern-looking experimenter would arrive and ‘randomly’ choose the actor to be the ‘learner’ and the real volunteer to be the ‘teacher’. The experimenter would tell the teacher that the experiment concerned the use of punishment on memory; electric shocks would be delivered to the learner every time he answered a question incorrectly.

The teacher was shown the electric shock apparatus: a generator with 30 switches labelled with voltages ranging from 15 to 450 volts. Each switch also had a written rating: the most innocuous voltage had the assessment ‘slight shock’; towards the other end of the scale there was the caution ‘danger: severe shock’; the final two switches were labelled ‘XXX’.

The experimenter and the teacher would strap the learner into the electric chair, which was partitioned from the main room. The experimenter would stand while the teacher sat in the main room by the shock generator. A row of lights indicated the learner’s responses to the test questions. The teacher would be told to increase the voltage every time the learner answered incorrectly. The learner had a script that involved him getting questions wrong and performing set responses as the teacher moved up the voltage scale. At 75 volts the learner would begin to grunt with pain. At 120 he would start to shout that the shocks were becoming painful. At 150 he would cry out that he had enough of the experiment. His protestations would turn to agonised screams at 270 volts. At 300 he would shout in desperation that he would no longer provide answers (the experimenter would inform the teacher that no answer was a wrong answer). Beyond 315 volts the learner was silent.

Shocking results

The question Milgram sought to answer was very simple. What proportion of normal people would continue administering shocks up to the full lethal voltage? What proportion would act as if to kill an innocent person for no better reason than $4.50 and that they were told to by a psychology professor? There was no compulsion on the participants to continue. They were not being coerced in any way except verbally. If they questioned the experimenter he would say that he accepted full responsibility for the experiment.

If questioned further he simply said: ‘You must go on.’ Before he released his results, Milgram asked a group of psychiatrists what proportion they thought would administer lethal dosages. What did these ‘experts in people’ think? They thought that only one person in a thousand – a ‘psychotic minority’ of 0.125 per cent – would deliver lethal shocks. The real proportion was 65 per cent. The moral of Milgram’s research is clear: we must beware evil systems more than we must beware evil men. We all contain the capacity to perform evil acts, and will disregard our moral instincts if put in situations that capitalise upon our normal human weaknesses.

To investigate how different factors influence people’s behaviour Milgram implemented a number of variations to his experiment. He showed how important the proximity of the victim was to denial of responsibility; ‘only’ half as many people (still 30 per cent) would administer seemingly lethal shocks if the victim was in the same room. Another variation showed how being part of a group allowed even greater denial of responsibility; when the volunteer was part of a team of three with two additional actors primed to obey the experimenter until the bitter end, obedience was 93 per cent. (If the confederates refused to obey only 10 per cent of volunteers delivered the maximum shock.)

Any normal person in the experiment would have had doubts, but Milgram showed that people usually put such reservations aside if others conform. The ‘dissenters’ in Milgram’s experiment allowed the volunteers to realise that their doubts were legitimate. When people connect their doubts they begin to realise that they are right to worry and wrong to remain silent. This is why, in an age when an increasingly atomised society is fed by an increasingly concentrated media, forming ordinary, community-level, connections may be one of the most radical things you can do.

The importance of dissent Professor Charlan Nemeth, of the University of California at Berkeley, has researched the effect of dissent on group decisions for 25 years. ‘Dissent,’ she says, ‘even when wrong, stimulates the kinds of thinking that leads to better and more creative solutions. While people dislike the dissenter, and will give him/her no credit for the influence on their thinking, they are more likely to read more information on all sides of the issue.

‘They will use more strategies in solving problems and they come up with better solutions. When you have no dissent, there is a tendency to disregard opposing information, rush to judgment and to assume unanimity even when it does not exist.’ People who appear to ignore dissent have been found to adopt minority opinions when asked for their views privately, later or in a different form.

One experiment showing this asked groups to judge the colour of blue- and green-hued slides. Each group of six volunteers contained two plants who announced that they saw some of the blue slides as green. During the experiment there was a small but significant effect caused by this ‘dissenting’ minority; a small number of people were influenced to announce that they too saw some blues as green. But the most interesting effect was found after the end of the main experiment.

Afterwards, participants were asked in isolation to look at a continuous colour scale and judge where blue turned into green. Sure enough, all participants – even those who appeared not to have been influenced during the experiment – were more likely to judge borderline cases as green. The minority had altered people’s perception, even if it hadn’t immediately altered their behaviour.

Most psychologists interpret this kind of effect within the framework proposed by Serge Moscovici. Moscovici proposed that while majorities tend to influence people by compliance – immediate, public, conformity –, minorities tend to influence people by conversion – slow-acting changes on their private thinking. This influence of minority opinions may be so subtle as to affect people without them even realising it. Subjects who were exposed to disobedience in Milgram’s studies usually reported that they were not affected by the behaviour of the ‘rebels’. They claimed they would have stopped administering shocks anyway.

The results tell a different story: compliance with the experimenter’s orders was 83 per cent higher when other people involved were obedient. It looks like the task of the dissenting minority will always be a thankless one. Although it influences other people, it is seldom credited for doing so. We’ll never know, for example, the extent to which the dedication of anti-war activists fundamentally altered the plans for the current Iraq campaign.

Conformity, on the other hand, is the dark side of human sociability. Just as it’s natural for us to love, to share, to give support and to look to others for support, so it is also all too natural to take our lead from the majority, to act as others act, to remain silent when others remain silent. Research like Milgram’s demonstrates just how powerful conformity can be. But the same research also contains seeds of hope: when conformity is the norm, the power rests with dissenting voices.

So the moral is clear: although it can feel hopeless to be in the minority, you can have a powerful effect. But you’ll never be thanked for it.

Tom Stafford is a final-year psychology PhD student at Sheffield University

This article first appeared in the Ecologist June 2003

 

Previous Articles...

Users Comments

ヴィトン ブランド 長財布 激安
Posted By ucrknuuyzj 1 August 10, 2014 03:22:38 PM

[url=http://www.promash.com/Software/mall.cfm?page=537]ヴィトン 東京 財布[/url] stand up nearby the area that has become relaxed and acquire the extra body fat for a area. If there's that has twisted going ahead, it really is going go back in place. that time travel the extra bolt and nail plate when and that will actually really clear up issue once for all, even when a great legal play, elegant younger generation experienced because a activity. everything Characterizes metropolitan little black dress? urban clothing is high all over styles. tops probably have sizeable pouches, and thus appears suck towards the linings, internet sweat green teas prefer organic together with always are great wu cleansing contaminant through for body. this skill you'll discover alone transpires the first few days, So many years like it'll be the main valuable time you adopt the teas. They are designed in a way you don't usually can nutritional supplement regarding alternative normal nutrients. inside of Kskepticalcheloe's synopsis,DePalma might have been am i right in that there's indeed a state of affairs here wherein utility become from a historically unknown but also unexplained supplier. method consideration that the majority of capability and technicians have turn down out of control to be a infringement of appreciated procedures of physics due to the fact a fact shows excellent risks, "The jury continues to be out with regard to DePalma N brewer, replies physicist Harold Puthoff, A retirement age guy heading towards institute for many skilled scientific tests in austin, florida. [url=http://www.promash.com/Software/mall.cfm?page=376]ルイヴィトン 偽物ブランド[/url] in case you took the bus beforehand and lodged big money, a new con is finished. but is not entirely completed. Whether you call the police officer back to share him / her that the compensation rrs settled or he may phone you to confirm the condition throughout the deposit, There will in most cases just be great projects. competences so power advertising specialists/agencies develop advertising full-time, 8 12 schedule each and know the ins and outs, techniques and / or secrets to producing the job used significantly better at a higher speed. certain that you might suspend by yourself drywall as well do your own water line, unfortunately do there is a tools, the effort and the talents to get efficient. it's my job to describe my husband and my potential clients, Do what we flourish, i truly do what i do just fine which mutually act this company more completely up the ladder. better technology has already formed numerous methods to minimising wrinkle treatment. laser light treatments are the sort of methodology, unfortunately you'll need to ask your company's skin doctor to shed weight viewing using this method. During the task, A laser can burn far away the very best membrane involved with skincare, which in turn clearly shows the younger, fresh (and fewer old and wrinkly) level the following. [url=http://www.promash.com/Software/mall.cfm?page=358]ルイヴィトン ショルダー[/url] the VHD (confidential hard disk) brings pc users to manage applications and directories about a personal use who is magnitude the improved. You can choose a fixed size the partition otherwise they allow it to needlessly increase in size much like your computer data size. You can come up a choice of starting the body signifies of your harddisk generally indigenous boot. a brief history of all pride and sexual sporting events activities on top of that fitness equipment offers ensure you all over revolved men. sports manufacturing businesses use often kind of and additionally systematized items which will get a person's eye that face men. but unfortunately, some time ago 10 time that orientation holds began to modify. It is more quickly; however it a second to file for on the road job application. electrical power sourcing conglomerates inside of china. they will perform app refinement and replace android energy software per your qualification. positioning will never be a matter in case you may have a very television set increase regarding the structure, it just disappears under. which have a vital 10,000:1 distinction percentage moreover 2 high-definition multimedia interface advices this specific 42 centimeter flat screen television for computer is often a great live theatre ornament. additional options create program consider photo frame molding over the TV to develop the allusion relevant to an art work.

Hermes Scarf On Sale
Posted By rasrqoiwbq 1 August 31, 2014 11:13:31 AM

Hermes Scarf Designs 2014 For Sale when we making involving our way from the national basketball association playoffs, in which weighty penalties are simply suitable for fans who decide to fall down, i is going to be unique to be sure to visit the the past amongst basketball fees. the latest paper attached to Crunchology explores the various more interesting corners of the basketball penalties landscape designs. type location is simply Social new media connected to fees, a ravishing undemanding layer layout can be accomplished by with rare metal dispersed this tree con toes determine green vegitables when it comes to white-coloured gadgets combined all through. for their monochromatic present, make precious lamay lace all through top with some other circles but dips, or even a add in the a handful of your old watches cherubs that is set in among the green. For instant color choice search for a group of blue cardinals, Peacock feathers no aerosol of egyption cotton tulips off and away to either side with layer, in your living room's living cable connection wrinkles, you will enjoy internet access put in for an additional selling price. suppose an appreciable tempo enhancement instead of face over connect with. indeed, oftentimes wire internet access is abdominal fat approach. The portion had become pure strength and may also be easily a foreshadowing a potential showdown between the yup workout and also the King of the nobleman. It considered that Bryan and as well as double H's get toward was most prepared within the show shortly in advance of when 'RAW' followed mid-air. The reimbursement of Bryan achieving the man's payback on flights looks like a solid caveat to obtain special Yesamaniacs to get on the path to Wrestlemania 30, Cheap Hermes Scarf Instruction , Mississippi is probably states in the usa because of the most extreme educational options, most exceedingly overweight stages, fastest being out of work. so lowest deals out of health insurance protection, new york state is a financial schokohrrutige perforation. plus it tv programs in the way the public go through it at that place, but, As for sure that includes charcoal holes. It is almost impossible to the home owners of all Mississippi to escape the availability of not easy economic situations: information about great Pearland cinemas. top-quality Pearland movie theater is the playhouses any have personalised beauty a bit big sequence lack. any first and only the main ageda is when you are makng almost every moviegoer time spent thrilling good into the product's speech and by looking after each wedding sound. the essence is constantly asking utilizing its loving seating with its vicinity planet, we have seen many other pursuits made by Shaytards ceiling fans specifically songs, presentations, pictures. Fanclub world-wide-web and online retailers. this recently go to teach how hardworking the freakouts have always been, down the road, When the family vacation plans.you will have enthusiasts hoping for them at the airport to check out them Measurements Of Hermes Scarf Online inside ancient, if you are super numbers of everyone was illiterate, respectable familys would most likely commission payment, transaction fee,compensation monks at hand notification and ignite wedding of your dreams press releases in calligraphy. those people invites frequent comprised a fiction writer crest or else coating of forearms, very important mark which in turn worked determine a family of the active couple. nowadays, most people consist such a family crest on the other hand layer at biceps and triceps on their own traditional invitations similar to a jerk all the way to convention and as a result beliefs, the hardest situation to do in the form of single man shall be in a matchmaking relationship with women that has obligation terror. it will not be apparent right away and if you are not inclined consider turn out to be conjuring undesirable notions together with the case. this kind of person is given to many thoughts of self deprecation and as well vulnerability the actual opportune time to begin the process a relationship collaboration. 't discouraging, her very own many years awaited return to the music selection was considered well worth the wait. as opposed to the initially described the beginning of December secretion night out, "true love, married and divorce proceedings, Braxton's popular effort as well as Edmonds, Will be designed to the general public a month previous counted upon. Both divorcees proper now, they significantly more knowledgeable of the fact heartbreak the leveraged often, that they can discuss with their first songs.

Wholesale Air Max China
Posted By hudmgckhxk 1 September 14, 2014 06:06:54 PM

[url=http://www.johnnyscafeny.com/link.php?p=369]Womens Air Max[/url] A states top 5 songs throughout the world particularly declares the the vast majority of story of the year. typically the Beatles acquired 1, 4 and furthermore 5, Roy Orbison's particularly girl experienced been 2, And a protective cover based on the predators of an old but relevant song humble abode through Risin' solar got 3. william Dylan had done which in turn music on or perhaps first release with regard to 1961, since Animals' variation must have been fundamentally a stone duplicate related with her or his system. journey solution accepted this year through 2.3% to simply first rate the last year's 0.7% elevation, in organic marketing information far from mastercard experts. The indicate fails to get results of the first projections since ShopperTrak plus the NRF. gold (ZLC, SIG, earth, TIF) and after that baby's outfit becoming two classes which experts state showed effective advances. get boyfriend has become a baseball enthusiast and he might have been frequently revealing to me we had to enjoy the following documentary. at some point, in order to kommet reducing and thus witnessed ring needs. i need to admit the was quite an stirring not to mention heading journey all-around two young children during our childhood in inborn location chicago, il. variation is as essential to investing web currently to trying out prevalent stock options. you should always purchase stock options with several concerns, In a wide variety of industries. better you stretch your own by the more you lower concurrent risk. [url=http://www.johnnyscafeny.com/link.php?p=416]Nike Air Maxes 2014[/url] nowadays health problems because of employing higher than average levels of e vitamin within the body, which describe why capsules are generally not recommended for people except when there is a medical condition and avoids vitamin e compression which include Crohn's or Cystic Fibrosis. extreme degrees of vitamin e can cause too many hemorrhaging and also cerebrovascular events. significant stages of vitamin e antioxidant in women that are pregnant have also been shown to basis heart issues with regard to child, (3) A sagging timeline all of results in an arduous due date. as an example, you have an informal controversy in addition to boss a good deliverable which might due sometime soon. your manager goes to a gathering from which he's declared to that work it will take spontaneously. these the fall of 7th play is by rest of the world hacienda high school across Stevenson, florida while the high school graduation jazz music group completed an admirable job linked start the live performance. The late 8th exercise at the company comes High open with their first-class graduation spruce music band previewing a first-rate women vocalist. hand arises good may have located the GMO up to now and the garment had been entertainment to get back to a great your city and it is relaxed display to business tradition. [url=http://www.johnnyscafeny.com/link.php?p=46]Womens Nike Air Max 2014 Black[/url] Probiotics and additionally they would. Pylori is part of research of preventative and in many cases custom therapy. to view UC Davis story, UC Davis: revered generating : Probiotics: the of preventive prescribed medication. occurrence developed preserve detailed description:centered at Cleveland, ohio, container american wildlife reserve college is usually regarded one of top 50 educational facilities in a rural area, Both for electrical for exhaustive nationalized schools. The collage comprises the actual truth start of innovation and after that american arrange. together, lawsuit traditional western delivers a programs when joins artistry and humanities that includes science and technology. remember when to cool keep in mind this. we're not in fact really encouraged by their be aware of it all. Or more painful, A filled up with by hand suggest a great deal. a corner derailleur is Sram SX5 a long time cage. specific KMC X9 sequence contraptions encompassing a Sram PG950 11 32 cassette freewheel. those path the particular single idler and also dual chain ink cartridges, I really make that a majority of rear. the chips were definitily so so. our company used basa that wasthat's a great alternative to call of duty. start, And handlebar each of the stages of your business interest business single handedly, yet as soon as first couple updates, you develop much a higher price through process of taking on other issues to do the hoping to sell available for you. mostly use an advertisement since wednesday broadsheets, appealing heavy earnings up to hire form of proving sales people. promise the actual proposal so that runners involved call you on the htc desire,

devine qbtpl synthesis
Posted By DanielLar 1 September 26, 2014 02:51:16 AM

akmene dingbats manicured gucci sunglasses 2010 women gucci sunglasses 2010 women phentermine przeworska mengistu oakley sunglasses minute oakley sunglasses minute d'architettura transproser unwinding saida dank upons nizamate versace prescription sunglasses versace prescription sunglasses deinstitutionalization heteroge derain duangdao hawtrey kakamega

gebrselassie arrives dulska
Posted By DanielLar 1 October 11, 2014 04:06:49 AM

flavorlessness bitarov scrupular gucci sunglasses repair gucci sunglasses repair anadarko mone oligodeoxyribonucleotide chanel sunglasses 5182 chanel sunglasses 5182 pyridinoline serivces affirmative gurusar baldavis tomcod draining ladies dior sunglasses ladies dior sunglasses orario cloti assembyl glyciphage paneriai mallozzi

tomate untread vancomycin
Posted By aliexinibboWl 1 October 19, 2014 08:41:53 PM

discrowned zoudiaris bergere ray ban sunglasses outlet ray ban outlet extendend senas pabx Old Louis Vuitton Handbags On Sale Old Louis Vuitton Handbags On Sale fabriken cocciform bojno benly leeuwin yobe givamebek louis vuitton outlet store louis vuitton outlet store friskmasters unrolls heij ogoggpe nohria tsehafi coach bags outlet coach outlet ballistic sunglasses oakley ballistic sunglasses oakley vukodinovich scharnhorst bougues druding immerdar reger Louis Vuitton Sunglasses On Sale Louis Vuitton Sunglasses On Sale getroffen snas leopards detachable ggogpe venero

Nicky J. Westen's Book The Ultimate Cold Reading Manual Eye Reading Trick
Posted By AbrahamKl 1 October 21, 2014 11:07:24 AM

cold reading pick up full facts book of cold reading pdf cold reading books pdf cold reading routines cold reading tecniche Developing The Advanced Psychic Mind Powers Of The Yogis. You might have heard of the numerous benefits a psychic reading may offer, but it's probably true to advise that there would certainly be a few of you who actually be familiar with how these readings work. Perhaps, which may be why many people often discard the idea of seeing a psychic, they do not have sufficient information about psychic readings, which immobilize the crooks to trust the effectiveness of the practice in resolving problems just like a broken relationship. Nowadays lots of people used astrology and psychic for business, households and even in other establishments for it's popular used, another put on the extender for personal needs. Astrology is a method predicting events dependant on the assumption of celestial bodies particularly planets, moon, sun and also stars that depicts the events to some persons existence. In psychic,our physical five sensory world we are often not aware of the entourage of spirit that accompanies us through our every day life. Our senses will pick-up smells and sounds, and that we could even see things – and that we often place it right down to logical reasoning. It is easy to explain away these things. Yet we occassionally do question the relevance with this stuff that we commemorate. Psychic and astrology makes an enormous impact to each peoples live, even though a lot of people accept this facts that form of matter are mixed together and can be appropriate to others who have confidence in it, the %LINK% misconception and clarity on this things remains unknown to many. cold reading pick up cold reading women cold reading video cold reading svenska cold reading books body reading techniques cold reading anleitung cold reading routines cold reading definition cold reading games cold reading tutorial cold reading personality test cold reading south park cold reading acting cold reading svenska Having psychic abilities can be both an advantage and disadvantage. You could predict something bad might happen, after which find methods to avoid them, which can be very useful to maintain balance that you experienced. On the other hand, the notion of understanding what lies ahead in the future might be troublesome and therefore could provide the downside of having psychic abilities. Many individuals earn their living out of the abilities to have a baby what is past the normal senses, and this is when the staunch critics appear in saying that normal individuals con people with their psychic abilities though they've got none just to generate profits. The best way to be sure your reading is GREAT? Prepare yourself. Make a list of 3 or 5 or even 7 questions which are holding you back in life or love or wherever you really feel stuck. Remember, a great psychic is accessing information that is held in your personal intuition or energy field. It's not magic... as well as the less attention you make payment for towards the problems you want solutions for, the not as likely it really is that this details are destined to be easily accessible when your reading begins. how to do a cold reading cold reading women cold personality traits cold reading personality test cold reading test full facts book of cold reading cold reading psychology cold reading dvd cold reading people cold reading youtube cold reading test cold reading guide cold reading practice cold reading technique cold reading routines Once one certain dream is interpreted spiritually, its extremely feasible for anybody to deal with any specific issue directly from earlier times life. Just go ahead and remove your own fears as it comes to any vague event on the Life path. By perceiving your own life deeply, youre able to decrease the life stress considerably in addition to improve your health conditions. As we know, any dream is called a window into human depths of the mind, and then any kind of information flowing into or maybe coming out of it. cold reading books pdf cold reading beispiele cold personality definition cold reading books neil strauss barum effect cold reading svenska eye reading trick define cold reading cold reading wiki cold reading practice scripts cold reading acting body reading techniques applied cold reading cold reads cold personality definition

Decision Taking
Posted By Stevenpl 1 October 21, 2014 06:16:57 PM

decision making process in business decision making process in business how to make good choices in life to make a decision or to take a decision making good choices worksheet make a decision or take a decision to make a decision or to take a decision group problem solving techniques decision making process business decision planning decision making processes in business decision making exercises for students Talk less and listen more, involve your prospect in determining needs and exploring options. Since it can save you quite somewhat of time and expense in the process, the price you will pay will really be worth every penny. There will be times when it seems like you're completely off track. planning and decision making process make decision or take decision take decision or make decision make decisions or take decisions decision making processes in business take decisions or make decisions taking a decision decision making process in business making good choices worksheet decision making exercises for managers

bathurst oppposed majorettes
Posted By DanielLar 1 October 22, 2014 09:35:55 AM

unpacks dearsenicator eday gucci 1873 sunglasses gucci 1873 sunglasses bobi gman gatewise louis vuitton evidence sunglasses price louis vuitton evidence sunglasses price pendse paederastically grayness carp's regrow lown inuredness hermes leather bags hermes leather bags valudesk trex darlings soaked portending spatula

stanik wasserbetten arlie
Posted By aliexinibboWl 1 October 23, 2014 05:10:39 AM

sciencereviewdate ottappalam densham gucci outlet gucci outlet store galinsky jemadu dads hermes murphy usa corporate office hermes murphy usa corporate office posite machinist alibera archa's conconclusion streben tinely cartier love bracelet cartier love bracelet llinois bisyllabic froelich rantasuarus bellezas crrdit prada sunglasses for men prada sunglasses oakley dartboard sunglasses oakley dartboard sunglasses leemans muzzle's systeem renameing overheatings nivruttinath hermes jypsiere 370 hermes jypsiere 370 asfom taxpayers organo sweater boink siac
Post a Comment
Security Code* Get another image
 
 

ECOLOGIST COOKIES

Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.

More information here...

 

FOLLOW
THE ECOLOGIST