Off topic: Obedience
Thread poster: Salam Alrawi

Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:44
English to Arabic
+ ...
Nov 15, 2014

It is the tendency to do what powerful people tell us to do.

As I am going to school again pursuing a degree (in some science), I have to take a class in psychology. Even though the textbook has so many weird named theories and definitions that are hard to memorize and can be boring, it is very interesting about the things you might discover about human behaviors.
This is from a psychology textbook for a class called "Elements of Psychology"

In the social psychology chapter, at some point the textbook tells us about how many people would submit to authority and do what powerful people tell them to do.
In an experiment (some people consider it unethical experiment, others consider it ethical since it bring us more knowledge) conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram in 1963, in this experiment, the participants meet a middle age man who is supposed to have health condition issues and connected to wires that can shock him up to 450 volts if he answers a question with the wrong choice (or answer).
The participant is the one who delivers the shock, however he receives his orders from an instructor.
Over 60% of the participants delivered the shock all the way to 450 volts. the results really were surprising and shocking.

Even though nowadays, such experiment is considered unethical, it was repeated recently with some modifications and broadcasted on ABC news. Here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwqNP9HRy7Y

After taking this class, I really think every person on earth should take this class once. It makes you think a lot

Thought I might share this with you. Wonder what you might think about it.


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:44
Member (2012)
French to English
This reminds me... Nov 15, 2014

... of a tv programme I watched a few years ago, which explored the various stages that led to people doing unspeakably evil things to other human beings. I'm trying to remember the title of the series, which was really interesting. It included several well-known experiments, including the Stanford Prison experiment. Have you heard of that?

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Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:44
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes I read about it Nov 15, 2014

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

... of a tv programme I watched a few years ago, which explored the various stages that led to people doing unspeakably evil things to other human beings. I'm trying to remember the title of the series, which was really interesting. It included several well-known experiments, including the Stanford Prison experiment. Have you heard of that?


The prison experiment is also mentioned in the textbook, it says that it was supposed to continue for two weeks, but they had to stop it after six days "for many reasons".


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:44
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree Nov 16, 2014

Salam Alrawi wrote:
After taking this class, I really think every person on earth should take this class once. It makes you think a lot.


That is why I got a psychology degree. Not only did I learn some new things but it put everything I already knew from reading a lot and from my own life experiences and observations into a broader theoretical and historical context. But that is true for many other fields as well: when you look into them a little deeper, you find that there is so much interesting stuff to learn. One could spend two lifetimes exploring only a fraction of it.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:44
Member (2008)
Italian to English
MIlgram Nov 16, 2014

I have Milgram's book. The world is full of obedient people, ready to do what they're told.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 01:44
English to Croatian
+ ...
Sticks and carrots? Nov 16, 2014

The person in the video has been given $50 to "obey"?

These experiments are making big conclusions in a small and artificial context.


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