Stanford Prison Experiment and Authority Essay

Submitted By taniae93
Words: 905
Pages: 4

In Milgram’s article, the Peril’s of Obedience an American psychologist teacher at Yale University firml believed that humans were naturally aggressive or only under authority. He conducted an experiment where The teacher is a genuinely naïve subject who has come to the laboratory for the experiment. The learner, or victim, is actually an actor who receives no shock at all. The point of the experiment is to see how far a person will proceed in a concrete and measurable situation in having to conduct an experiment about having authority over-rule your personal beliefs. The consequences of being shocked if answered wrong was a very compelling idea personally. His theory was very logical, were humans as obedient to authority figures as they were conceived to be? Milgram was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person. Stanley Milgram was interested in how easily ordinary people could be influenced into committing atrocities for example, Germans in WWII. The more you miss the higher the voltage you will be shocked with. The trick to the teacher was to be consistent & memorize. The whole experiment was set-up for the teacher to see how far they would go in harming someone. Being obedient can cause many things, being tortured, being successful, and being taken advantage of. Most importantly with discipline comes obedience. For many people, obedience is a deeply ingrained behavior tendency, indeed a potent impulse overriding training in ethics, sympathy, and moral conduct. The reason I don't totally agree with the author is that all these people were forced somehow to continue the process. Another reason people obey is that they have a sense of obligation to their duty. This is just the whole idea of completing the job that's given to you. Some people have a fear of being perceived as brash, or rude. In general, people want to present themselves in the best way possible. If there hadn't been an experimenter standing behind the teachers, some of them would have stopped the research.
After reading this article a couple times I missed one very important thing. My first impressions on this article was that, This experiment was a target for civilians to see how much our brain can learn in memorizing words and the effects of punishment on learning. The “learner” was not the one being studied; it was the “teacher” conducting the shocks. Was it a moral obligation that they had to continue giving higher shocks, after every wrong answer? It’s having the power of authority that makes you wanting to keep going. It’s an adrenaline most of us don’t experience, having to see someone suffer and we are in utter-control. Not only did the teacher see the learner get shocked and see them twisting and jolting from the chair, they continued with the experiment. Seeing your learner “extricating himself from this plight, the subject must make a clear break with authority”. “Her behavior is the very embodiment of what I envisioned would be true for almost all subjects.” But little did you know that some of the controller’s did worry about the subjects, continuing to a point to terminate the experiment. Also take into mind that it is easier to ignore responsibility when one is only an intermediate link in a chain of actions. Paul Graham noted in his critique of P.O.B., “Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' ears…