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Charting the psychology of evil, decades after ‘shock’ experiment

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/12/19/milgram.experiment.obedience/index.html
artmilgram In the early 1960s, a young psychologist at Yale began what became one of the most widely recognized experiments in his field. In the first series, he found that about two-thirds of subjects were willing to inflict what they believed were increasingly painful shocks on an innocent person when the experimenter told them to do so, even when the victim screamed and pleaded. The legacy of Stanley Milgram, who died 24 years ago on December 20, reaches far beyond that initial round of experiments. Researchers have been working on the questions he posed for decades, and have not settled on a brighter vision of human obedience. A new study to be published in the January issue of American Psychologist confirmed these results in an experiment that mimics many of Milgram’s original conditions. This and other studies have corroborated the startling conclusion that the majority of people, when placed in certain kinds of situations, will follow orders, even if those orders entail harming another person.

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December 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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