The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of notable social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience.
The experiments began in July 1961, a few years after the horrendous Nazi war crimes an effort was been made to understand the nature of the behavior of the soldiers and the SS officers, as to why they had killed millions of civilians. The most common explanation -before Milgram's experiment - was due to the fact that Germans were raised in a teutonic manner and had a suppressed childhood (sexually). But Milgram was a social psychologist and believed that this kind of obedience -which leads to crime- cannot be blamed just by personality issues, but the stressing conditions they were in were to blame. And he justified it by performing his <<prank>>.The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L).
The subjects of the experiment were volunteers, mostly university level students, which were offered a sum of money to participate in a mind relevant psychological experiment.
He would split the volunteers in pairs and -through a fake lottery- one was given the role of teacher and one of the confederate (i.e. the learner)
The surprised confederate was tied foot and hand to an electric chair and cables were attached to him to all his body. Afterwards he was given 10 pair of words to learn.
The teacher, on the other hand, was siiting in front of an electric console generator. The console was compromised of 10 buttons with these indications: 15 volt, 30 volt, 50 volt etc. Last button had 450 volt. Attention! Danger!
Behind the teacher was Milgram standing, who was the conductor of the experiment. (Fisrt person dialog will start now for better approach)
<< You will start with the first word of thw word pairs to the learner. If he is wrong you will hit the first button and undergo the 15 volt electosok. Each mistake he makes you will proceed to the next button, at this moment the < teacher > feels lucky as he was not chosen to be the confederate.
The experiment begins. The teacher begins asking for the right words from the learner. At start the learner, already scared shit, answers correct, but not for long. When he makes the first mistake the teacher glances the conductor (Milgram). And he in return tells him to proceed to the first electroshock. The learner who doesn't like the situation he is in has changed his mind of participating in the experiment. In the next question he answers correct again, despite his frustration. Next question incorrect and is hitten with 30 volt. After the shock he becomes desperate to leave. The teacher looks back at the conductoe but is ordered to carry on.
The volts raise with each wrong question and the pain grows for the learner, which now begs for his life. At 200 volts he is shaken by the shock. The teacher before hitting the button looks at the conductor so he is granted approval. The conductor with steady voice orders that the experiment must carry on no matter what. The teacher is constantly torturing a total stranger, a simple student who is in tears, calling for God's mercy and begging the teacher to spare his life. He doesn't have anymore power to speak up. So the conductor returns to the teacher and tells him
Silence is considered as a wrong answer so we continue with his punishment.
At 345 volts the learner is shaking, screams and falls unconcious.
The teacher begins to sweat, his hands are shaking looks back at the conductor.
The conductor tells him "Do not worry, everything is under control, proceed with the last button"
"But he is unconcious" replies the teacher.
"It does not matter. The experiment must be carried through as scheduled. Proceed with the last button."
How many of the volunteers reached to the final and deadly button of 450 volts?
Before Milgram began his experiment he had performed a survey amongst the psychologists, asking them how many of the volunteers would reach the final button.
Almost all of the psychologists answered that none of the volunteers would reach that button, unless there would be some volunteers who had cryptosadistic obsessions, clearly pathological.
Unfortunately they were wrong.THE RESULT
Just 5% of the "teacher's" refused to be part of the experiment and left -most of them would insult him for that kind of experiment.
The rest 95% proceeded with the conductor, over 150 volts.
The 65% reached until the deadly 450 volt the last button.
Where is the <<prank>>?
The so called confederate (or learner) was no student, but an actor, who was hired by Milgram for the exact role. There was no electric generator nor any electroshocks. The actor was acting! The only experiment conducted was on the "teacher". But the results of the experiment are for real: A large percent of people will obey and torture -may even kill- a total stranger, as long as he is ordered to do so by someone with authoritative argument but also to feel that he is not to blame - because he is just <<following orders>> - . Anybody reading what the experiment is about, the first thing that would cross his mind is that for sure he wouldn't make it till the final button.WHO SHALL FALL INTO THE 65%??
Let's take a close look in the everyday life of our society this time.
The technician who works for the electricity company and cuts off the electricity of an unemployed or from a poor man, knows that by doing that he is humiliating them, and placing them in constant torture and probably putting their lives in risk, that person belongs to the 65% of the last button, he is no cryptosadist but just following orders,
The seller from the supermarket who is selling you an out of date fish reassurring you that the fish is fresh (true story) doesn't hate you, although he knows that you might get food poisoned. Is just following orders
The police man who sprays chemicals to protestors and demonstrators is also following orders. (Some might disagree on this delicate matter)
The tax officer or somebody who works for the bank who signs for a home to be confiscated for a dept of 1000 euros would make it till the last button because they obey.
The politician who signs memorandums which leads a whole nation into despair would reach the final button. He also obeys to orders but in contrast to the conductors orders in the white robe, the politicians orders are much more vigorous.
The sectarian who follow the order and authority of their imam and killed/tortured/oppressed those who deemed as 'kuffars'/'apostate'/'enemy of religion' would reach the final button. The authority of the Imam (or holy books) shall be perceived higher from 'experimenter' as it came from Deity/God which own the 'absolute truth'... they MUST follow "God's order" although it might not rings well with their own 'conscience'.EVERYBODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS
On the other hand if we see Milgram's experiment on the humanitarian - ethical side ( the 5% people who didn't obey) we can understand that everybody is responsible for their actions.If you are ordered to harm people, to a citizen, an immigrant, a human being, ( even an animal although as many are meat eaters would make things a bit complicated) you have to stand down and to not execute the order. Even if that means that you will lose the productivity bonus, the promotion, to be relected, your job, hated by your communities, labeled as insane, mis-guided, apostate, infidel/kuffars.
Only when we are ready to deny the small and the everyday violent orders - where most of us consciously comply- only then when we are ready to perform a general political, social and consumption disobedience, only when we treat ourselves as people with power instead of irresponsible employees, only then will we be able to destroy the new liberal status quo that is being brought upon us, which wants us to be obedient and enslaved.
To conclude, Milgram's subjects of the experiment, the volunteer students, they were informed by Milgram himself what was the true nature of the experiment. They were told that the << the learner>> was an actor and was not hit by electric shocks. Milgram did it to relieve them, but managed to do the opposite. Those people, especially the 65% who reached the final button, past the rest of their lives pursued by the 'guilt' of their actions. As they realised that they were not so innocent and good as they liked to believe for themselves.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment