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+ - The Evil of our Obedient Natures?

Submitted by
Vastad
Vastad writes "A chilling article by the Mercury News informs us of Santa Clara University Professor Jerry M. Burger's recent study recreating the infamous Milgram experiments. In the 1960s Stanley Milgram, disturbed by the Nazi war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann, conducted studies at Yale on the willingness of subjects to obey an authority figure. He had participants designated as "teachers" administer electric shocks to participant "learners" (actually all actors) in another room for incorrect answers. In the very first set of experiements, 26 out of 40 participants reached the full 450 volts available on the electric shock apparatus in spite of the (pre-recorded) screams and pleading from the "learner". All the participants did at some point, question the experiment and yet fully two-thirds continued to accept the orders of Milgram or his assistants. Professor Burger's own work shows that these results still hold true, even when modified to work under the ethical guidelines the original experiments inspired. I particularly liked the CNN article that also covered this story as they connected a similar study known as The Stanford Prison Experiment, where volunteers were split into "Guards" and "Prisoners" and roleplayed in one of the basements at Stanford University. Within 3 days, the "Guards" had extreme stress reactions and began verbally abusing the "Prisoners", taunting and humiliating them. It got me thinking not just about Abu Ghraib but a lot of other situations both in the news and personal. Needless to say, it's not very flattering about humanity."
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The Evil of our Obedient Natures?

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