Obedience To Authority: The Milgram Experiment

Obedience_To Authority_Bk_CoverIf you were told by a legitimate authority figure to submit progressive electric shock to a test subject even, if you thought it was killing them — would you do it?

In controlled experiments, replicated many times over the last four decades, between 50% and 65% of normal people continued to administer electric shocks even when they believed it was killing the other person.

What did it take to get them to do it? Surprisingly not much at all.

All that was necessary was for the person administering the shocks to see they were part of a legitimate process, to have clear instructions to follow, and to have a person who appeared t be a legitimate authority figure telling them to continue.

The person administering the shocks didn’t like it. They obviously felt bad and struggled with internal conflict, but over half continued with the process even when the other person begged them to stop and they believed they were administering lethal levels of electric shock to a person who as unconscious.

All that was necessary was a calm and self-assured person with all the trappings of legitimate other calmly saying — the experiment must continue, please go on.

“All That Is Required For Evil To Triumph
Is For Good People To Do Nothing.” 
~ Edmund Burke ~

Watch the Video:

Read The Book:
Obedience To Authority by Stanley Milgram

2 Responses to Obedience To Authority: The Milgram Experiment

  1. writingthebody says:

    Reblogged this on writingthebody and commented:
    So submission is everywhere…..These experiments show that we are not the only submissives in the world. In fact, I wonder if those who are in the bdsm community would not be more likely to refuse to obey commands of this kind….because of all our reflections on limits, responsibility, consent….I really doubt we would have kept on pressing those buttons….:)

  2. writingthebody says:

    It is a really really good question we should all ask ourselves, I think.

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