Milgram’s Experiment on the Issue of Obedience

Topic: Psychological Issues
Words: 297 Pages: 1

The documentary touches upon the important issues in social psychology. Obedience is one of them, as in many cases, it makes people do things that might be viewed as unacceptable. For instance, Milgram’s experiment shows that people were ready to give an electric shock to others because of the formality of the situation and location. More importantly, the shared responsibility for outcomes made 65% of participants use the highest voltage implying severe pain or even death of a person. This factor helps to understand why people in Nazi Germany allowed their governments to kill millions of others in death camps.

However, the most important takeaway of the documentary is that these concepts and conclusions are still relevant today. The lessons from these classic studies show that people are ready to obey and have a an instinct making them follow commands. The formal environment, the outlined conditions of cooperation, and the knowledge that a certain person possesses a specific degree of authority have an outstanding influence on individuals’ psyche and behaviors. They might step away from their ethical principles and morale and become cruel or merciless under the influence of factors making them obey.

The findings remain relevant today as people are still ready to harm others, trying to obey individuals who have specific authority. For instance, hazing in the army is one of the examples proving the results of Milgram’s experiment. Being ordered by an older or supernal person, a soldier can make another one suffer because it is a part of unwritten rules or can be made in pursuit of obeying authority. In such a way, to documentary shows the classic experiments in social psychology describing human nature. Results remain relevant today as people’s psyche is unchanged and respond to the same triggers or factors similarly.

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