The Background on the Stanley Milgram Theory Essay

The Background on the Stanley Milgram Theory Essay

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The social psychology theory that I will be analyzing is based on the Stanley Milgram experiment done in 1965 following the start of the Nazi war. He was curios on all the violence taking place during this time. As a Jew himself, he wanted to find out whether or not the Adolf Eichmann accomplice had the same intent and hate towards the Jewish people during the holocaust. Based on Solomon Asch’s past experiments on conformity, Milgram’s experiment was done to determine whether or not the power of the situation could cause average people to conform to obedience. The results of Milgram’s experiment were astounding. The research of Milgram’s experiment had such a major impact on social psychology that we still use his findings to analyze human behavior today.
The Experiment
The original study took place at Yale University. Milgram came up with an advertisement to gain participants to contribute to his study. He offered them four dollars and told them it was a study about memory. Three people took place during each experiment. The three subjects were the experimenter the “learner” and the “teacher”. The experimenter was a dressed as a biology teacher and the “learner” was trained to act out his role. Of the three participants the teacher was only person that didn’t know about the actual study. The “teacher” and the “learner” were placed in separate rooms so that they were unable to see one another. The teacher’s role was to ask the “learner” a number of questions and punish the “learner”” for answering incorrectly. The “teacher” was advised to issue a shock to the “learner” each time he answered incorrectly. The participant was also told to administer +15-volts of shock for each additional question answered incorrectly.
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It is amazing to look back and realize that this experiment was done to determine how the Nazis could all have so much hate towards the Jewish people. The lack of compassion towards humans shown by the Nazi Germans during the holocaust inspired Milgram to conduct this experiment. He was curious on how any sane human being could want to participate in genocide of an entire group of people. It’s incredible to know that something like the Nazi war could bring about such valuable information to psychology. For years Milgram’s theory has been one of the primary points of social psychology. Because of the results revealed after Milgram’s creative design, psychologists use this information today to describe certain behaviors in people. I believe it is fair to say that Stanley Milgram has had one of the largest impacts in the history of social psychology.




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