Individuals often yield to conformity when they are forced to discard their individual freedom in order to benefit the larger group. Despite the fact that it is important to obey the authority, obeying the authority can sometimes be hazardous especially when morals and autonomous thought are suppressed to an extent that the other person is harmed. Obedience usually involves doing what a rule or a person tells you to but negative consequences can result from displaying obedience to authority for example; the people who obeyed the orders of Adolph Hitler ended up killing innocent people during the Holocaust. In the same way, Stanley Milgram noted in his article ‘Perils of Obedience’ of how individuals obeyed authority and neglected their conscience reflecting how this can be destructive in experiences of real life. On the contrary, Diana Baumrind pointed out in her article ‘Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience’ that the experiments were not valid hence useless.
Summary of the Experiment
In Stanley Milgram’s ‘The Perils of Obedience’, Milgram conducted experiments with the objective of knowing “how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist" (Milgram 317). In the experiments, two participants would go into a warehouse where the experiments were being conducted and inside the warehouse, the subjects would be marked as either a teacher or a learner. A learner would be hooked up to a kind of electric chair and would be expected to do as he is being told by the teacher and do it right because; whenever the learner said the wrong word, the intensity of the electric shocks were increased. Similar procedure was undertaken on t...
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... to a stranger simply because of the presence of an authority figure?
Baumrind, Diana. “Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience.” From
Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Tenth edition. Edited by Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Longman Publishers, pp. 371-377, 2008.
Benjamin Jr. Ludy T. & Simpson, Jeffrey A. The Power of the Situation: The Impact of Milgram’s Obedience Studies on Personality and Social Psychology. From American Psychologist. Vol. 64 (1), pp.12-18, 2009.
Milgram, Stanley. Issues in the Study of Obedience: A Reply to Baumrind. From American Psychologist. Vol. 19, pp.848-852, 1964.
Milgram, Stanley. “The Perils of Obedience.” From Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Tenth edition. Edited by Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Longman Publishers, pp.358-371, 2008.
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