Compare And Contrast The Perils Of Obedience

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Comparative Analysis Obedience to authority and willingness to obey an authority against one’s morals has been a topic of debate for decades. Stanley Milgrim, a Yale psychologist, conducted a study in which his subjects were commanded by a person in authority to initiate lethal shocks to a learner; his experiment is discussed in detail in the article “The Perils of Obedience” (Milgrim 77). Milgrim’s studies are said to be the most “influential and controversial studies of modern psychology” (Levine).While the leaner did not actually receive fatal shocks, an actor pretended to be in extreme pain, and 60 percent of the subjects were fully obedient, despite evidence displaying they believed what they were doing was harming another human being (Milgrim 80). Likewise, in Dr. Zimbardo, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, conducted an experiment, explained in his article “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” in which ten guards were required to keep the prisoners from…show more content…
the guards began mistreating the prisoners, not physically, but emotionally and psychologically, taking advantage of the power and authority appointed to them by the experimenter (Zimbardo 109). Crimes of obedience and mistreatment to other human beings are not only found in Milgrim’s and Zimbardo’s experiments. In 1968, U.S. troops massacred over 500 villagers in My Lai. The incident is described by social psychologist Herbert C. Kelman and sociologist V. Lee Hamilton in the article “The My Lai Massacre: a Crime of Obedience.” Lt. William Calley, charged with 102 killings, claims to have followed orders from his superiors, only accomplishing his duty, which is also a theme throughout the movie, A Few Good Men. After presented with a request from William Santiago, a marine on his base, to be transferred, Jessup refuses. The film depicts, through Colonel Jessup 's authority, the refusal to obey a reasonable request as well as the pride one possesses when fulfilling his duty

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