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The study itself told ordinary people to ask an stranger in another room questions. Whenever the stranger answered incorrectly they would be given an electric shock. 66% of them went up to 450 volts (ie. Texas Execution Level). Disappointingly the stranger himself was actually an actor who was not being electrified at all.
The results showed most people were willing to give fatal electric shocks to a pitifully protesting victim, simply because an authority figure commanded them to, and in spite of the fact that the victim did not do anything to deserve such punishment. Milgram's experiment is usually cited as an example of the human tendency to submit to authority. It is often discussed alongside the Stanford Prison Experiment, an example of the human tendency to abuse authority upon acquiring it. It's quite possible however the scientists themselves simply did it for the lulz.
It Gets Worse
The experiment was repeated in 1972, except this time the stranger would be a puppy which would be zapped every time it did something wrong. Since dogs are notoriously bad actors the shocks were real, going up to 15 volts. Unlike the original experiment however most of the volunteers cried at seeing the poor puppy despite being the ones doling out said pain.
So did seeing a cute fluffy animal in pain bad enough to make you weep stop torturing it? This time 80% went up to the maximum voltage.
Many will be reading this article and thinking "FUCK! A REAL free-thinker like me would have pulled their balls out through their assholes!" In reality however you would probably just have knuckled down and listened to every damned word he said for fear of appearing like an asshole. Even if you are a bleeding-heart furry PETAfag who cries at the thought of how much pain that puppy must be in you would still do it, probably because you are already so sensitive. The rest would probably keep pushing the button to watch Rover Jnr. dance and serve him up fried.
- The Stanford Prison Experiment
- The Law of Conformity
- The Hivemind Corollary
- Pulling a Lynndie
Milgram Experiment is part of a series on