Talk:Milgram experiment

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Worldwide experiments[edit]

The main article says citation is needed for the claim that the Milgram experiment was conducted in other countries (by other people) with similar results. I found this Web page: [[2]] which gives a table for different results for different countries. It has a reference which I will reproduce here:

Smith, P. B., & Bond, M. H. (1994). Social psychology across cultures: Analysis and perspectives. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.75.33.226.64 18:00, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Reversed experiment?[edit]

Stanley Milgram should have tried a case where he reverses the roles. I'm not quite sure how you'd do it, but it could have been interesting to see how the experimenter (E) who orders the subject (S), would actually be the random participant instead of (S). Latter one and the other subject (A) being the actors. This, to see how far (E) would go to give his orders. Of course, (E) wouldn't be called 'the experimenter', but something else.

I wonder what the result would be, because if the experiment was one way to understand how normal German citizens would turn evil, on taking orders by NAZIs, the question is, why did some Germans become NAZIs and others not (some actually risking their lives in order to save Jews - not many, but still). I mean, it's worth an experiment to see how far an individual would go and order someone to hurt/kill a third individual.

English is not my mother tongue - so, I'm not sure if I'm clear enough. Anyway, if that 'reversed experiment' should take place one day, I'll be claiming copyright! :o) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by J.U.d.E. w. (talkcontribs) 14:29, 23 January 2007 (UTC).

J.U.d.E. w.

Funny, I considered that myself reading it just now, although in a sense I arrived at the idea a different way. What the original experiment seems to demonstrate is the converse of of truism "power corrupts" — namely, that obediance corrupts as well, and people (and I include myself) will go to incredible lengths to obey rather than "disturb the system", sort of like the bystander effect.
While on the one hand, it would indeed be fascinating to see how far authority would go, society as a whole probably wouldn't have been quite as shocked at the results, given the history of un-coerced loathsome dictators from around the world. Also, it's harder to imagine what would be the incentive for the experimenter to keep going, besides the aquisition of scientific knowledge of the sort the original subject thought he was providing. The thing is, this might limit experimenters to scientists and others who feel qualified to determine how experiments should work, which would obviously have a host of associated problems when talking about what the results would mean about people in general.
Don't worry, your English is fine for Netspeak — although it happens that "Nazi" (which is not an initialism) need not be capitalized unless you intended emphasis. In that case, it is reccommended that you italicize by placing two adjacent apostraphes (' ' but without the space in between) on either side of the word or phrase you have in mind. Also, you should sign all your comments with four tildes (~ ~ ~ ~ but without the space in between) rather than write your name. If any of this confuses you, just click "edit" to look at the wikisource and see what I'm talking about. Take it easy... —Lenoxus 22:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I find myself skeptical of the experiment. Duplicating Nazi Germany would be 1) duplicating a climate of fear and authoritarianism where a failure to comply can cause an arbitrary and extreme consequence 2) actually telling them "I want you to kill the man in the next room by pushing this button" because Nazis who murdered were murdering, not setting a dial on a machine they didn't understand and pushing a button. It materially different. Someone pointing a gun and pulling the trigger is consciously murdering. Someone pushing a button on a machine might say, "well... surely this man wouldn't actually have me kill him. The labelling must be wrong." After all, the man is not a guinea pig; he lives in a liberal democracy with a free press and an open, elected government and has not a single reason to think a shadowy laboratory where murder goes on, could ever actually operate. Whereas if he were a German in 1930's Germany, he'd believe it easily. It's just not at all the same. If someone can produce a result where they can get an authority figure to tell a man to shoot another man to death, well, then they'll have something. Until then, I'm a bit skeptical of the "we're all equally susceptible" argument. Americans do not respond to authority the same way Germans do, not even today. It's very different. 70.91.235.10 (talk) 00:49, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
They might not have been told to explicitly shoot the person in the next room, but they were told to give the lethal shock to someone who supposedly had heart problems. Not only did some of these people "kill" the learner they were technically "torturing" them as well. At least that is what they believed and most still went ahead. I think its absolutely ridiculous that you claim Americans don't respnd to authority the same as Germans. I do agree that the actual situations would be difficult to duplicate, however I believe that they did a good enough job in telling people everyone has the ability to follow an authority figure into following orders, some to the point of killing another person. Dark verdant (talk) 09:53, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
While not an exact "reverse Milgram," the Stanford prison experiment demonstrates how far people will go to compel compliance.24.255.103.160 (talk) 01:57, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Question[edit]

This prior FA is obviously well reviewed, and I do not presume to quibble. I do have a question about the paranthetical reference in the following paragraph:

"Milgram's work demanded that mainstream Western society re-evaluate how they looked upon the history of the Holocaust specifically, and of war in general. While it was (and remains) fashionably acceptable to revile "Nazi atrocities" (as though they are more atrocious than any other example of victimization of the vulnerable by a controlling or invading state, the suggestion of which disrespectfully implies that the lives of other groups of collective victims are somehow less valuable than those who lost their lives in the concentration camps of WWII Germany), yet through this experiment Milgram was able to demonsrate that the human element in all people made anyone capable of doing bad things to people who were not perceived to be deserving of the action, "just because" someone perceived to be in higher authority and control commanded it to be done."

Italiac emphasis is my own. I question if this entry is entirely encyclopedic. It seems more editorial and somewhat opinion based, though I share the opinion. Perhaps one wiser in these ways than I might comment. Sadie12 20:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Milgram Experiment on children[edit]

Can anyone come up with a good text to add? A school (!) did the Milgram experiment, [3] with a 100% success :-( --Tilman 16:47, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


I hope this is the place to put this . . . has there been any variations concerning thecloseness of the VICTIM to the experimentee, I didn't notice such on the main page. I think if your Mother or Aunt or Granny w/ demetia in thr chair then it would change the results. Lots of people won't stop mistreatment at any level xoncerning a stranger, otherwise people wouldn't eat McDonald's with the money they could "Save the Children" when they have food at home! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Turnagealfonsojermaine (talkcontribs) 03:48, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

The experiment in Sydney, late 1960s/early '70s[edit]

Many years ago, a friend who is a qualified psychologist told me that when the exeriment was tried in Sydney in the late 60s/early 70s that very high levels of disobedience were documented. I have searched in vain for material about this on the web. Does anyone know anything about it? Grant | Talk 07:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Paragraph removed from "Variations" section[edit]

I've pulled this paragraph from the "Variations" section, because it smacks of Original Research and has a tone that's inconsistent with the rest of the article. It seems to be an attempt to summarize the results of the experiment, but it makes assertions and draws conclusions unsupported by references.

A notable observation here is that a being will, under normal circumstances not want to harm another being. However, substantial duress may confuse the being and as such will seek authority for their own actions. Thus, you have the situation whereby the being given the instruction is merely doing what they believe is right, purely through an aberated processes of seeking authority for ones actions. This then follows that initially the being had little or no personal ethics by which to judge their own personal actions and therefore will not cognite on the unethical harming of another being.

The last sentence is particularly problematic, since it asserts that the test subjects had deficient personal ethics. As far as I can tell from the rest of the article, most qualified commentators assume that the test subjects are ordinary people without unusual ethical standards.

Then there's the use of the word "being," which is not present in the rest of the article and makes this paragraph that much more New-Agey. The generally confused phrasing and the use of the either made up or painfully obscure verb "cognite" are further arguments against letting the paragraph stand.

Eric S. Smith 13:52, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

The use of the word being in this case is no more New-Agey than referring to someone as a human being. It's not talking about a state of being, which would have New Age implications. It's referring to an actual being, such as a human being and living being. There is no New Age connotation.

I agree with the rest. The point of the experiment was to show normal, ethical people were capable of going against there established ethical system under certain circumstances.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.192.19.66 (talk) 16:58, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Should we mention 'A few good men'[edit]

This movie also talks about this concept. Anshuk 03:59, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

level 17 in portal is also a variation of the milgram experiment because you are forced to destroy the companion cube (a device which helped you through the level 17 test chamber) by GLaDOS(An AI that controls the lab and prods you to keep going) in order to continue the experiment.

24.222.180.6 (talk) 00:38, 6 August 2008 (UTC)Alex

How many participants?[edit]

The start of the article reads, in part, "...and the victim was played by an Irish-American accountant trained to act for the role. The participant and another individual (supposedly another volunteer, but in reality a confederate of the experimenter) were told by ...". This made me think there were four people involved - technician, victim, participant and another confederate, when I now don't think this is the case. Maybe that needs rewording. Rawling4851 16:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I tried to clear it up a bit by referring to the person who mimics receiving shocks as the "actor". The whole article should really be reworded for consistency (using the letters from the illustration throughout would be best)

Claricfication of experiment method[edit]

"If the answer was incorrect, the learner would receive a shock, with the voltage increasing with each wrong answer." (Method of Experimnet, 3rd paragraph) Who would give the shock? Did the "teacher" have to push a button or was the active part of the teacher only asking the questions? It's probably the former, but clarification could help the article. --Janzomaster 23:16, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

In most variants, the teacher has to push a switch. GL 15:23, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I tried to clarify that paragraph. On page 5 of the article (in the PDF scan that's cited) it's made clear that the teacher actually has to throw a switch to administer a shock. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.132.210.79 (talk) 16:25, 20 July 2007

Cleanup[edit]

I think this article could do with a bit of a rewrite. It seems basically ok, but much of it could be stated in a far simpler manner. However, I am not a sociologist and might not be best qualified to do this. Is there anyone qualified who can check the article if I have a go at simplifying it this weekend? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.132.210.79 (talk) 16:25, 20 July 2007

Should we remove this?[edit]

Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr wrote in 1981 that The Milgram Experiment and the later Zimbardo Experiment at Stanford University were frightening in their implications about the danger which lurks in the darker side of human nature.

This appears to be a quote from one of these "self-improvement"-type of management books, written by Peters and Waterman. I'm not quite sure why it's slapped in the middle here. I'd say let's remove it, as it's quite irrelevant, but if we want to keep it it should probably go at the bottom with the rest of the 2in popular culture" stuff (which needs trimming a bit anyway) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.132.210.79 (talk) 16:25, 20 July 2007

it seems erelevant to me but im not sure... im not really qualified to change it because i don't really know much on the subject. 24.222.180.6 (talk) 00:42, 6 August 2008 (UTC)alex

Poor organization[edit]

There are many problems with the organization of this article. Parts of the of the section 'The Experiment' should be in 'Results' and 'Variations', while parts of 'Results' should be in 'Variantions'.

For example, the section dealing with 'Obedience' shouldn't be in 'Results', but in 'Variations', which also does talk about Experiment 10.

If none is willing to reorganize the article, I'll try to do it soon.Evenfiel 17:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Popular culture spam[edit]

User:Wookiepedian is continually reinserting pop culture references of only marginal import to the article, seemingly out of a mistaken belief that notability is transferable (for instance, that because V for Vendetta is a notable comic book, things which are mentioned in it are themselves notable in encyclopedia articles). I'm reverting this, because it results in articles being swamped with irrelevant trivia. Chris Cunningham 19:13, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Why is this categorized as Academic Scandal?[edit]

Nothing in the article really indicates why this was an academic scandal. The findings? The ethics? Someone should make this clear, and with citations, and with discussion of proof there was any such scandal. 71.39.78.68 (talk) 15:26, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

There isn't any evidence in the article to warrant that category, so I've removed it. Good catch. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 19:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I believe this is referred to as "academic scandal" because of our current view of such an experiment's effect on the subject. As someone else mentions below, it is common for there to be an element of deception in many many psychology experiments to avoid issues with subjects feelings' toward the theory in question confounding the results. In this instance, there was a great concern with the effects on the subject even after their debriefing because, in essence, they thought they were torturing another person. This type of experiment is simply not allowed anymore.173.63.147.197 (talk) 00:36, 3 August 2010 (UTC)amac

mentionable[edit]

This experiment could be seen to raise some ethical issues as the experimenter did not truthfully tell the people involved what the real test was for (a standard practice in psychological tests today).

I left the sentence at this. Anyone involved in psychology or its experiments knows that this is standard and that any "ethical issue" here is insignificant so much as any other lie. For example once I was told that I was writing an essay to be graded by another volunteer ("in the next room"); there wasn't any other volunteer. Another time I was told I was participating in a market study for different types of cookies, it turned out to be about outwardly versus inwardly expressed opinions. I just think pointing out a supposed "ethical issue" is silly here, especially since the reader could interpret that on his own (if he desired). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.211.4.46 (talk) 02:08, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

At the time the experiment was not techincally unethical, it was only after ecperiments like this and Zimbardo's Prison one that they decided to come up with ethical guidelines, for example you cannot deceive your subject. However you can be slightly unethical, for example in the syudies you did they were only slight deceptions and as long as you are fully debriefed afterwards it is not too bad. It would have affected the study if you had known what it was actually about. Milgram's experiment would not be allowed today as it breaks a lot of the ethical guidelins (I think) however he did have a very good debrief afterwards, even letting the participant see the learner and know that he/she was unharmed.Dark verdant (talk) 10:10, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

What is the independent variable?[edit]

Maybe I'm being lazy or dumb, but what exactly is the independent variable of the original experiment? --Mark PEA (talk) 15:00, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

The independent variable was the procedure: the experimenter giving instructions to the teacher, the teacher giving the learner the academic instructions and the shock contingent on incorrect answers. The dependent variable was the rate of the teachers' compliance to the experimenters' instructions.

Hofling experiment[edit]

This isn't really about this page, but about a closely related page which might go unnoticed. I'm suggesting renaming Charles K. Hofling. If you have input, please hit Talk:Charles_K._Hofling. Thanks. Cretog8 (talk) 22:40, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Rosenhan experiment[edit]

I added http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment to the "see also" section which was undone. Before I'll redo it I'm adding more information to the justification along with wanting a third opinion or more of a consensus.

This article fits in with the variety and reverence of the " see also" section. Both by its individual subject matter and by the articles included. The Rosenhan experiment and Milgram are both unpopular for the showing if fallacy but important articles. Rosenhan shows that when an authority medical staff makes a medical opinion that other medical staff members will believe and continue to attempt to practice medicine on a person of lower position and authority despite the lack of continued evidence based medical events and behaviors. I don't have the fully study in front of me, in Rosenhan or a similar study the pseudopatients/researchers informed the staff they were sane but to little avail. Once again reinforces biasness by an authority and social group. Their willingness to inflict unnecessary and improper behavior modification and control on an individual in a lesser status.

I'm curious if there was subconscious cognitive biased to changes based on the person's dislike of the articles nature, recent vandalisms to the article and from from an ip address instead of registered account. I'm at an open wifi point in a public library for context. While I used a public wifi spot that has has vandals occasionally, the IP address is not used solely for vandalism. Since no other similar entries in the "see also" section were purged, I'm left wondering why such a conflict of behavior and subjectiveness? One should not have to have to create an account to have edits validated. Since we're in disagreement over the subject and its worth, relevance and tangential nature, I'm re-suggesting and hope someone else will add it back because of this included justification. 168.215.131.150 (talk) 21:08, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

puppy variation[edit]

"Charles Sheridan and Richard King hypothesized that some of Milgram's subjects may have suspected that the victim was faking, so they repeated the experiment with a real victim: a puppy." I don't have the source for this. did they really give electrical shocks to the dogs. And how were these animals connected to the teacher/trainer? 92.192.6.206 (talk) 13:56, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, they really did give electric shocks to the puppies. See this entry at the Museum of Hoaxes. Graham87 14:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
As your source is "museumofhoaxes" I have to ask if it is a hoax or true what's written there? --84.56.248.31 (talk) 04:04, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Per the first page of bizarre experiments on the site, every experiment actually happened. It even lists the original Milgram experiment. Graham87 06:08, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
So you have no other source than this hoax page? --84.56.248.31 (talk) 08:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Nothing that I can find that is any more reliable than this page. Seriously, have you actually read through the pages I linked, and the actual Museum of Hoaxes website? The Museum of Hoaxes *debunks* hoaxes; it doesn't promote them. I can understand if you just don't want to believe it though - the experiment seemed horrible. Graham87 08:56, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
The original reference was too hard for me to find, but a Journal Article in 1999 mentions the original paper: Blass, Thomas (1999). The Milgram Paradigm After 35 Years: Some Things We Now Know About Obedience to Authority' Journal of Applied Social Psychology. (Volume 29 Issue 5 pages 955-978) p. 968. 192.237.29.125 (talk) 19:02, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
comments made by ap4413 - sorry I forgot to sign in
the previous citation is incorrect. the Blass article is a review article that only summarizes and cites the original study. the original "puppy" study (as given by Blass) is: Sheridan, C.L. & King, R.G (1972). "Obedience to authority with an authentic victim." Proceedings of the Eightieth Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, pp.165-166. the volume is available from at least three online sources; i have not consulted any because payment is required to download the electronic files. Macevoy (talk)

2008 version of the experiment[edit]

I added a small summary of a 2008 experiment performed by Dr. Jerry Burger of Santa Clara University, which used the same premises and adapted the conditions to conform to modern experimental ethics. I'm not sure if it deserves its own article, or if it should be put into a section on this page. I linked to both the Reuter's article that summarizes the findings and a full version of his publication. 137.99.236.135 (talk) 15:11, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I think it belongs in this article, and it is! I don't think it belongs in the lead, though. (If you think the replications section needs editing, go for it.) CRETOG8(t/c) 15:52, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Burger's American Psychologist paper (in press according to his website) only references his 2006 replication of the experiment. Is it possible the press release was just recently being (re)send to create more buzz around his paper? I have found several popular press references to the 'recent' replication originating from around December 19, 2008, but could not find reference on Burger's website to any 2008 replication of the study. 98.227.176.154 (talk) 21:12, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I do not believe that the puppy experiment was ever carried out. It is a hoax. Try to find it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.50.170.169 (talk) 22:49, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Following up Melbourne replication[edit]

Below I've copied a footnote from the main article page. Can anyone tell me details of the reference that's being quoted? I can't find it anywhere.

thanks Btsm09 (talk) 03:09, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

^ Melbourne(1972) A version of the experiment was conducted in the Psychology Department of La Trobe University by Dr Robert Montgomery. One 19-year old female student subject (KG), upon having the experiment explained to her, objected to participating. When asked to reconsider she swore at the experimenter and left the laboratory, despite believing that she had "failed" the project

I've added a small paragrap and some references to a recent publication by Gina Perry which seems to include the La Trobe experiment. Mrgazpacho (talk) 02:09, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Milgram and epigenetics[edit]

Milgram's experiment as well as concentration camp officials and guards all over the world (Nazi, Abu Ghraib, Russia, etc.) show that this experiment may have something to do with epigenetics and epigenetic mechanisms (including some "learned helpness"). Check for it!!!

- OE - Oct 8, 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.2.120.203 (talk) 18:59, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Gullibility?[edit]

It is astounding to me that no one seems to even question the fact that everyone who was administering those shocks in obedience to the authority figure actually believed that he or she was really administering shocks. This experiment, if the shocks were real, would have been of questionable legality at best. The acting ability of the "victime" or "victims" may have been pretty good but the subjects, some of them, may have seen though it. Logically, if one had something to gain by participating and one saw through the bs, if you will pardon the expression, one would go on with it, even though it was clear that no shockes were being delivered. Am I the first person to see that the emperor is missing at least his shirt? 65.79.173.135 (talk) 18:02, 21 July 2010 (UTC)Will in New Haven65.79.173.135 (talk) 18:02, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

  • This concern is most directly addressed by experiments which reproduce the Milgram experiment but actually do administer shocks to the learner. The "puppy" variant is mentioned in the article, and various others have been carried out. The results of these tests do show slightly lower compliance rates, but no drastic difference. 207.235.66.3 (talk) 00:02, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

The Netherlands population[edit]

Shocked by the high number of the standard Dutch population I decided to check any reference, unfortunately wiki doesn't provide such.

After searching I found the results which are most likely showed on this wiki entry (http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/dutch_interview_experiment.html) though this experiment is different from the standard test. Instead of physical pain the test person had to increase the stress levels in a job interview setting. This seems so different from the original experiment that it's odd to leave this result in this table. In my opinion this is providing most likely correct results on a different experiment and therefor shouldn't be mentioned (or at least there should be a proper reference and notes given). I would like to change this, though first I would like to know if I'm referring to the correct research and what would be the best way to deal with this? Most likely more of these experiments mentioned in the table are slightly different and thus should contain a proper explaining note and a reference to the original work.

Swtimmer (talk) 12:55, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Remove "in legend"?[edit]

This section smacks a bit of hearsay. It might really be in circulation, but I can't imagine a source for this information existing. Should it be stricken from the page?

Eddievhfan1984 (talk) 01:21, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Quote about Eichmann in the intro[edit]

I cant find a source for this anywhere. I have combed through his 1974 book, which is commonly cited as the source for this but it isn't in there. I am wondering if this quote is even true or attributable to Milgram, or of someone made it up to describe the motivation behind his experiment and now it is just passed off as a legitimate quote.

Here is the quote I am referring to: "Was it that Eichmann and his accomplices in the Holocaust had mutual intent, in at least with regard to the goals of the Holocaust?" In other words, "Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?"

Any one have a source for this? I think if not, it should be removed or rephrased.

Colinobwan (talk) 23:04, 29 April 2011 (UTC)colinobwan

Experiment repeated for television show[edit]

Let me start by saying that I might make the changes to the page myself but for the fact that I am not able to figure out how to do it.

On the recently aired episode of Curiosity: How Evil Are You? (Discovery Channel, 30 Oct 2011), this experiment was repeated with both men and women "teachers". Perhaps someone would want to include something about the episode in this article? Victorsteelballs (talk) 09:27, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Not an experiment?[edit]

Although commonly referred to as an experiment, it is my impression that this is not in fact an experiment, but a study because there is no control condition? I also found this which agrees. http://www.holah.karoo.net/milgramstudy.htm — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.220.7.197 (talk) 20:38, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

What? Please explain. This source seems incredibly unsound. In Fashionable Nonsense, the authors point out that the scientific method should not be considered written in stone. Aetherist (talk) 01:52, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Doublethink[edit]

hi folks,

no mention or linking of 'doublethink' in the milgram experiment wiki. i have no sources, but this topic is quite relevant imho, at least insofar as subjects' intents, since there exists a context of NewSpeak today in many parts of the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

perhaps doublethink could be a candidate for the 'See Also' section?

thanks, jon :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by J5robert (talkcontribs) 06:16, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Um, I would like to link Kierkegaard's "The Crowd is Untruth" because Kierkegaard speaks about how people in a crowd lack responsibility. In the Milgram Experiment, it seems the chief catalyst is a lack of accountability. But actually linking, would be pretentious at best and irrelevant at worst. I am afraid that you would have to explain Doublethink's relevance. Aetherist (talk) 02:05, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Dispute over Applicability to the Holocaust[edit]

Firstly, "Inapplicability to the Holocaust" is an emotionally loaded section. Replacing this section with appropriate links in the "see also" section would be more relevant. However, in the mean time the above title would be more appropriate. Daniel Kahneman talks about how bad people are at from learning from psychology experiments in Thinking, Fast and Slow. Citing Kahneman, could possibly bring a perspective to this section which achieves balance, but at the cost of making the section far too meta and abstract. It would seem simpler to replace the section with a couple footnotes. Aetherist (talk) 03:09, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, this is not how logic works. Bring in reliable third-party sources to show that there was a dispute over the content of Becoming Evil by Professor James Waller in the scientific community, than (!) you can claim that the dispute is real. Otherwise, your WP:POINTy blanking of section, and editing from single-purpose account, or logged out, sounds more like violation of WP:NPOV to me. Poeticbent talk 04:55, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

In “Can Psychology be Taught?" [1] [a], Daniel Kahneman describes an experiment by Richard Nisbett and his student in which they explain to a class a “helping experiment” in which only 4 out of 15 people rush to help a confederate. The confederate previously explained that he was seizure prone before requiring help from a seizure. Then Nisbett showed two groups the video of the “helping experiment” asking them to make a prediction whether the volunteer in the video would help the confederate, but only one group knew the statistical results of the experiment. Both groups predictions were identical. Daniel Kahneman summarizes, “Changing one’s mind about human nature is hard work, and changing one’s mind for the worse about oneself is even harder. Nisbett and Borgida suspected that students would resist the work and unpleasantness. Of course, the students would recite the details of the helping experiment on a test… But did their beliefs about human nature change?”

A more specific source, which has results and a thesis very similar to Kahneman, Nisbett, and Borgida, is Geher, Glenn et al. (October 2002). "Self and Other Obedience Estimates: Biases and Moderators". The Journal of Social Psychology 142: 677. 

Aetherist (talk) 23:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Applicability of Obedience Bias to "Inapplicability to the Holocaust"[edit]

Does anyone have a counterpoint to the applicability of Kahneman's summary in demonstrating that the "Inapplicability to the Holocaust" is an example of obedience bias?

Aetherist (talk) 21:13, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

On another note, here is a quote from a book review on Becoming Evil, “Indeed the author’s tendency to see support for his central thesis everywhere and to dismiss viewpoints that undermine it pervades the book and understandably so." The review "Human Nature Abhors a Vacuum" is written by Anne Campbell a psychology professor: http://www.epjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/ep070610.pdf

Aetherist (talk) 22:07, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

I removed the section since noone defended the neutrality of the citation, and added James Waller and Holocaust trials in Soviet Estonia to the See Also section. Aetherist (talk) 02:45, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

James Waller uses emotionally evocative language in the title Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. In the U.S., this political tactic is commonly referred to as Waving the bloody shirt. In an interview on NPR Daniel Kahneman describes an experience as a child in which during the Holocaust he stayed out past his curfew. The story starts at 10:00 in the interview (be sure to click the 13:21 long interview not the TED Talk). I do feel as though I could not do justice to Kahneman's storytelling skills by paraphrasing it. I recommend listening to it as it adds practical experience to Kahneman's psychology theory: http://www.npr.org/2013/05/24/182676143/how-do-experiences-become-memories Aetherist (talk) 15:41, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

[[[Some feel it is important to insert shades of gray into a black and white discussion. Do not allow yourself to be beholden to others or their opinion--free yourself of bias. One can make a clear link between the experiments and actual instances where ordinary citizens were impressed into authority roles by martial institutions for the suppression (or destruction) of other societal elements. One need only to look at the recent history of the American south and the treatment of its minorities.

  1. ^ Kahneman (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. 

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.67.107.51 (talk) 17:53, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

New study September 2014 (should be added to article)[edit]

S. Alexander Haslam, Stephen D. Reicher, Kathryn Millard and Rachel McDonald:

'Happy to have been of service': The Yale archive as a window into the engaged followership of participants in Milgram's ‘obedience’ experiments

Article first published online: 5 SEP 2014; DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12074; © 2014 The British Psychological Society

There is also an online report about the findings of the study, also published today, provided by Macquarie University: Psychologists say Milgram's famous experiment on obedience to authority has been misunderstood

--Hordaland (talk) 13:44, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Legal aftermath?[edit]

I am kind of missing the section "legal aftermath". It is hard to belief that there was no discussion on wether the subjects (teachers) of the experiment did commit a criminal attempt of bodily harm. The factual impossibility of the attempt might not be an adequate defense. If there is any information on that, e.g. statements of legal experts, this should go into this article. --Hokanomono 19:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
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