Experiment Shows Humans Still Unable To Say No To Authority

December 19, 2008

US (ChattahBox) – Most of our readers are probably familiar with the ‘Milgram test’, a psychological experiment run by Stanley Milgram in the 1960’s that is still considered one of the most controversial experiments in history.

For those unfamiliar, the tests held at Yale University took several subjects who were unaware of their participation, put them in a room, and had an actor pretending to be a scientist ask them to deliver an electric shock to another subject every time they answered a question incorrectly.

The 150 volt electric shocks were fake, but the actor playing the shocked subject would scream in pain each time the shock was given, but even with the obvious torture and implications of the act, the people delivering them were still willing to continue, even as the voltage was increased to three times stronger then the original shocks.

Following a similar format, Dr. Jerry Burger at Santa Clara University took a large number of volunteers, and had them deliver the faked 150 volt shocks, though he didn’t allow them to go further with the voltage, instead just asking them if they would be willing to do so before ending their participation in the experiment.

This time, 29 men and 41 women were willing to shock subjects, knowing the intense pain that would be caused. This continued even after they sent in another actor to question what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

“What we found is validation of the same argument – if you put people in certain situations, they will act in surprising and maybe often even disturbing ways,” Dr. Burger told reporters.


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