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Historical Significance of Stanly Milgram

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Authority was represented by a scientist in a white coat who would continually urge the subject to proceed with administrating electric shocks to a third person. In fact, there was no electric shock involved but the third person merely behaved as if there had been one. Milgram found out that 60% of subjects obeyed the instruction to administer a high dose of electricity even after the victim gave up screaming. Milgram’ s research on obedience to authority represents the definitive contribution of social psychology to the corpus of scientific knowledge, which begin in 1898, empirically demonstrated the power of the situations to affect human behaviors.

Milgram embarked on the most controversial research line in the brief history of social science. Milgram’ s research led to important insights. First, he showed that physical proximity moderated levels of destructive obedience. The closer the experimenter stood the administer the more likely he was to fully comply. Milgrams’ obedience research uncovered the single greatest cause the holocaust, thereby demonstrating the banality of evil. Milgram has contributed immensely to upgrade our knowledge about the human behavior. In his website article (Hawk, 2007)writes that “ What Milgram wanted to know was how far humans will go when an authority figure orders them to hurt another human being” .

His work is a testament to the border human significance of the obedience work that disciplines outside of psychology. The major advantage of Mailgram’ s design was that it could systematically vary to explore other important factors affecting the extent of obedience. The obedience experiment also played a role, though a lesser one, in another type of social perceptual phenomena – stereotyping. The obedience paradigm of Mailgram has been used in various social researchers and thoughts. Milgram proved to the world that everyone has the dual capacity both to function as an individual capable of exercising their own moral judgment.

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