- 1. The Psychology of EvilHow far will people go in the name of obedience?
2. Are Germans different? In the beginning, StanleyMilgram was worried about theNazi problem. He doesnt worry about thatanymore, he worried about youand me. Stanley Milgram was a socialpsychologist at Yale Universityin 1960. His research aim was to provideevidence for the Germans aredifferent hypothesis 3. Germans are different hypothesis The hypothesis has been used by historians to explain the systematic destruction of the Jews by the Third Reich. Milgram set out to test whether Germans have a basic character flaw which is a readiness to obey authority without question, no matter what outrageous acts the authority commands. 4. Milgrams research into obedience Milgram developed a laboratory experiment which provided a systematicway to measure obedience. His decision to study obedience was tempered by his own Jewish culturalbackground. His plan was to test the hypothesis on the population of New Haven onAmericans and then go to Germany and test the German population. 5. Milgrams experimental design Milgram recruited participants using a newspaper advert (see copy inyour pack). The participants arrived at The Yale Interaction Laboratory and weremet by the experimenter, Jack Williams, a man dressed in alaboratory coat. The participants meet another man, a man in his 50s. The experimenter explains the experiment to both of them: It is about learning. Science does not know much about negativereinforcement on learning. Negative reinforcement is gettingpunished when you get something wrong. In this case, it will be anelectric shock. 6. Milgrams experimental design The experimenter takes two pieces of paper and placesthem in a hat. One piece of paper is supposed to sayTeacher, the other Learner. Pick one and you find out which you will be. You look at yours, it says Teacher. The experimenter beckons the Learner. Want to step right in here and take a seat, please? You canleave your coat on the back of that chair. Roll up yourright sleeve, please. Now what I want you to do is strapdown your arms to avoid excessive movement on your partduring the experiment. This electrode is connected to theshock generator in the next room. 7. Milgrams experimental set-up 8. The Shock Generator(from 15volts to 450volts) 9. Would Milgrams participants obey? Do you think the American participants would obeythe experimenter and deliver electric shocks toanother human being? What % of participants do you think would deliverthe full (and fatal) 450volt shock? Write your percentage estimate and compare with aneighbour. 10. Milgrams Obedience research 11. Milgrams result 65% of Milgrams participants delivered the full (and fatal)450volt shock. Even though the learner gave out an agonised scream at285 volts, a refusal to answer at 315 volts and onlyominous silence after that. So why did the participants obey? Most participantsgroaned, protested, fidgeted, argued and in some cases,were seized by fits of nervous, agitated giggling. 12. An explanation for obedience? Milgram suggested: They are somehowengaged in something fromwhich they cannot liberatethemselves. They arelocked into a structure,and they do not have theskills or inner resources to The Goebbels family Frau Goebbelsdisengage themselves. poisoned all six of her children in the final days of the war. Josef Goebbels shot his wife dead and then shot himself. 13. Killing in the name of.Gas ovens atAuschwitz-BirkenauRwandangenocideVietcong dead 14. WHY? 15. Were the Germans different? The answer is No. Milgrams experimentalresults in 1963 provideevidence that atrocities canhappen ANYWHERE. He argued that there aretwo reasons why peopleobey. 16. Theory of conformism The theory of conformism is based on Solomon Aschs work, describing the fundamental relationship between the group of reference and the individual person "A subject who has neither ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy. The group is the persons behavioural model." So, the SS troops followed the orders of the officers.Reichsfuhrer of the SS:Heinrich Himmler. 17. Agentic State theoryAgentic state theory, accordingto Milgram, The essence of obedienceconsists in the fact that a personcomes to view himself as theinstrument for carrying outanother persons wishes, and hetherefore no longer seeshimself as responsible for hisactions. Once this critical shiftof viewpoint has occurred inthe person, all of the essential Holocaust Memorialfeatures of obedience follow." 18. Milgrams reflectionsThe social psychology of this century reveals a majorlesson: often it is not so much the kind of person aman is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act." (1974)Some people are psychologically incapable of disengaging themselves. But that doesnt relieve themof the moral responsibility. (1970) 19. What can we learn?