Milgram Experiment Revisited
Posted on Dec 19, 2008
A new study mirroring the infamous 1963 Milgram experiment has suggested that humans will still follow authority’s beckon, even to the point of killing another person. The new report, timely considering the current debate around torture in the U.S., argues that it’s not that humans are bad, but that “a massive social influence [is] going on.”
The Milgram experiment, considered a monumental but notorious study in psychological research, showed that volunteers would shock, at supposedly lethal voltages, a subject (played by an actor) who had answered a question incorrectly—all at the behest of an authoritative “scientist.”
Decades after a notorious experiment, scientists have found test subjects are still willing to inflict pain on others - if told to by an authority figure.
US researchers repeated the famous “Milgram test”, with volunteers told to deliver electrical shocks to another volunteer - played by an actor.
Even after faked screams of pain, 70% were prepared to increase the voltage, the American Psychology study found.
Both may help explain why apparently ordinary people can commit atrocities.
This machine was a prop used during the Milgram experiment, in which participants thought they were delivering electric shocks to an erring test subject.