The Milgram-Experiment

At Yale University in 1961 the psychologist Stanley Milgram developed a series of tests to examine the willingness of average people to obey the orders of authority figures. A subject is asked to give electric shocks to punish another participant – in reality an actor – for false answers. The intensity of the electric shock is meant to be increased after each mistake. An experimenter gives orders. At a certain point the supposed victim screams in pain and begs to stop the experiment. If the subject has any doubts about what he is doing, the experimenter initially says: Please continue. Then: The experiment requires that you continue. Then: It is absolutely essential that you continue. Then: You have no other choice, you must go on. All subjects go beyond the point when they hear loud screams, when the victim starts begging, when the victim suddenly no longer responds. 65% of the participants give the supposed learner electric shocks of maximum strength, which they know could be deadly.

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