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Stanley Milgram - The Perils of Obedience

            In the early 1960s, Stanley Milgram published "The Perils of Obedience" in which he reported the results of a series of experiments he conducted to test various individuals' levels of obedience to authority. The experiment was conducted to see how far the participant would go against their conscious to obey authority. In the experiment Milgram talks about the basic arrangements, "the essence of obedience'" and different variations of the study. Milgram conducted this experiment because he had interest in the Holocaust, why "normal" people would conduct murder. The basic physical arrangement where two people go into the laboratory to participate in an experiment of memory and learning. There would be a "teacher" and a "learner". This order would be decided on the drawing a piece of paper, one would say "teacher," the other would say "learner." What the participants didn't know was that their fellow participant was actually an actor. The real focus was on the "teacher," both of the pieces of paper said "teacher." The experiment was explained that the focus was on effects of punishment on learning. The "learner" and the "teacher" were in separate rooms. The "learner" was strapped to a smaller version of the electric chair. The "teacher" sat in front of a machine with switches labeled with various electric volts. For every wrong answer the "learner" gave the "teacher" would give a shock.
             Milgram wanted to know how far someone would consciously go to do something immoral because an "authority" figure told them to. "The essence of obedience" if someone isn't held responsible for their actions, what lengths will they go to satisfy the authority figure. Some people are able to separate themselves from what is going on because they are doing what they were told to do.

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