What Was the Primary Conclusion of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Research?
Milgram conducted experiments to find the factors that influence obedience. He found that people are most likely to obey when they don’t have rigid convictions and are part of a group. His experiment tested the hypothesis by varying conditions and context. The variations resulted in drastic differences in participants’ obedience levels.
One way to make cause-and-effect relationships is through random assignment. This method can be automated, or a computer program can create a random assignment list. In both methods, the results are analyzed for correlations. The primary conclusion of Stanley Milgram’s obedience research is that people are obedient to authority figures who harm them.
When Milgram studied people, he found that they were willing to obey immoral instructions if the authority figure was strong enough to convince them. Despite this, a small number of subjects would not obey the researchers and would ask for a refund of $4 per hour. In most cases, the “teachers” did not insist on stopping the study and never stayed to check on the subjects.
In the 1960s, Yale University psychology professor Stanley Milgram conducted experiments to test the willingness of people to obey authority figures. He enrolled participants in a study in which participants were ordered to administer electrical shocks to another person. In the experiment, the participants were unaware that the shocks were fake and that the person receiving them was an actor. Even though they were being shocked, the majority of participants still obeyed despite the pain and distress they experienced. The findings of this experiment were controversial and have influenced psychology.
The experiments that Milgram conducted have been the subject of much criticism. Critics claim that the research subjects were treated unethically and that Milgram did not protect them from the consequences of their actions. They also argue that Milgram’s volunteers were not properly debriefed and that the experiment participants were subjected to significant psychological and emotional trauma.
A second wave of criticism has been initiated in the wake of Milgram’s obedience experiments. This critique integrates traditional concerns with contemporary ethical sensitivities and theoretical-methodological developments. The second wave of criticism has also taken into account aspects of Milgram’s experiments that he left unaccounted for. These researchers took advantage of new data sources and perspectives and focused on the interactions and processes by which participants were induced to comply.