This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Stanley Milgram’s Research On Obedience And His Contribution To Our Understanding Of Human Behaviour

850 words - 4 pages

This report aims to illustrate how Stanley Milgram’s research into obedience to authority has influenced our understanding of human behaviour today.

In 1961 the psychologist Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) began research on obedience to authority. Influenced by the cruelties committed in the second world war he wished to discover what made ordinary people commit evil deeds (Banyard, 2010). Milgram took forty male volunteers who believed they were taking part in a laboratory study on the effects of punishment on memory and learning. They were asked to give an ever increasing range of electric shocks to a ‘learner’ for every question he answered incorrectly. Positioned in separate ...view middle of the document...

None believed that any would choose full voltage. Popular opinion at the time suggested anyone who could behave in such a way or commit evil and cruel acts towards others was a monster. Milgram’s studies showed that this was evidently not the case and quite ordinary men were indeed capable of inflicting harm on others when requested to do so (Banyard, 2010).
Changing our way of looking at history
Organisations such as police and armies could not function without obedience to authority, so in many situations it is essential. Christopher Browning (1992) used Milgram’s findings to explain the terrible actions of Reserve Police battalion 101, a German killing unit in the Second World War. Milgram’s research has also shaped the views of historians (Banyard, 2010).
Further studies and virtual worlds
Milgram’s work has encouraged many further studies in obedience. Charles Hofling et al. (1966) tested real-life nurses to see if they would obey a doctor’s request to administer a fatal dose of medication. Nearly all followed the instruction though it was breaking hospital procedures (Banyard, 2010). Modern technology has allowed his experiments to be repeated, but in a more ethical and creative way. Mel Slater and colleagues (2006) used a ‘virtual’ computer generated character in place of a human ‘learner’ to perform an obedience experiment. The results were similar to the findings of Milgram’s. This has led us to question the effects virtual people and worlds may have on us all as they become more apparent through computer games and the internet (Banyard,...

Other Essays Like Stanley Milgram’S Research on Obedience and His Contribution to Our Understanding of Human Behaviour

Compare and Contrast the Contributions of Taylor and Ford to Our Understanding of Organizational Behaviour at Work

2510 words - 11 pages who ensures that things are done right, efficiently and one who is held responsible for these duties. I would say that Taylor has contributed more to our understanding of organisational behaviour than Ford, as Ford more developed on the ideas of Taylor, but it is fair to say that both have had a fair contribution to our understanding of organisational behaviour, whether it be in a way for us to follow or for us to amend. Bibliography 1

Assess the Contribution of Feminist Perspectives to Our Understanding of Society (33 Marks)

1791 words - 8 pages Assess the contribution of feminist perspectives to our understanding of society (33 marks) Feminists see society as patriarchal. They seek to describe, explain and change the position of women within society. The first ‘wave’ of feminism appeared in the late 19th century with the suffragette’s campaign for the right for women to vote. Even though all feminists oppose women’s subordination, there are disagreements on its causes and how to

Assess the Contribution of Functionalist Sociologist to Our Understanding of the Family

725 words - 3 pages Assess the contribution of functionalist sociologist to our understanding of the family Functionalists believe that society is based on a value consensus into which society socialises its members, which enables to cooperate harmoniously and meet society’s needs and goals. Functionalist’s sees that society is made up of a range of different sub-systems which depend on each other, and that society needs these functions or order for survival and

Evaluate the Contribution Psychological Research Has Made Towards Our Understanding of How Children from Birth to Five Learn and Develop Competencies in the Processes of Observation, Problem Solving,...

3252 words - 14 pages Evaluate the contribution psychological research has made towards our understanding of how children from birth to five learn and develop competencies in the processes of observation, problem solving, exploration, experimentation and prediction, thinking and decision making. Introduction The aim of this essay is to evaluate the developmental theories of ‘Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy’ (PSRN) and an ‘Exploration and Investigation

Spartacus and his contribution to Roman History

425 words - 2 pages to realise that even Roman historians such as Plutarch still spoke of the "portents of Spartacus' greatness" and greatly respected him as a valiant general as well as a person of understanding and gentleness, and "superior to his condition" even if he wasn't a Roman.While Spartacus may not have succeeded at the time, he inspired the hopes of Roman slaves, and many flocked to him as they fought many winning battles in their quest for

The Influence of Other People on Human Behaviour and Performance

1686 words - 7 pages The influence of other people on human behaviour and performance In this essay we shall examine and assess the influence of other people on human behaviour and performance. When using the term “other people” we are generally referring to people who have an impact on our lives such as family members, teachers, friends and peers, we shall examine there influence drawing on examples from chapters 1 and 6 of Investigating Psychology. We will

Assess Freud’s Contribution to the Sociological Understanding of ‘the Self’

3811 words - 16 pages understanding of the self. Concepts such as the ‘unconscious’ and ‘libido’ were popularized by Freud. I will explain clearly his theories on human nature and psychoanalysis and show how it has influenced society and thus sociology. The concept of ‘the self’ has always been of great relevance to philosophers and sociologists, they have reflected on this notion over the course of history because it is the self that reflects society. ‘Society exists out of

Understanding and Supporting Behaviour

1873 words - 8 pages theories and how these help understand individual's behaviour Humanistic Theory- is an approach to psychology which emphasizes empathy and the positive, good part of human behaviour, promoted human rights and equality, focuses on ways of improving individual's self-esteem/image/actualization and those elements that feel worthwhile. Maslow, a represent of humanistic theory emphasizes the importance of focusing on own personality, own life

understanding behaviour of soldiers during war

905 words - 4 pages How Milgram’s work is relevant to understanding behaviour of soldiers during war. Summary This report will use the work of Milgram to demonstrate an understanding of the implications of obedience. Briefly touch on some of the events throughout the Second World War in a military context today, and the relevance now. Show the implications of adhering to commands from figures of authority and the risks this could pose or potentially cause

Human Values as Common Ideals and Practical Rules of Behaviour

5601 words - 23 pages understanding human action; our motives, our successes | |and failures in life as happiness-seekers and as members of society. At least an entire volume would be required properly to explain the many-sided role of values and the possibilities of | |constructive experiential-experimental action research into the subject

Jsb Market Research : Snacking - Understanding Existing Trends, Capitalizing on New Trends and Looking to Counteract Inhibitors in the Market

1027 words - 5 pages Snacking - understanding existing trends, capitalizing on new trends and looking to counteract inhibitors in the market Released On 24th November 2014 Summary Snacking understanding existing trends, capitalizing on new trends and looking to counteract inhibitors in the market is a detailed insight report highlighting the most important trends and untapped opportunities in snacking markets. The increase of fragmented meal times and the

Related Papers

How And Why Milgram's Research On Obedience Contributed To Our Understanding Of Human Behaviour

1107 words - 5 pages participants. Part 2 Report: How and why Milgram's research on obedience contributed to our understanding of human behaviour. The report aims to: • summarise the Milgram study on obedience and explain how it helped to understand human behaviour. Background: • Stanley Milgram influenced by what happened in Nazi Germany during the WW2 wanted to find out to which degree people would follow orders from authority.(Banyard, 2010

Analyse And Assess The Contribution Of Feminist Research To Our Understanding Of Society

1978 words - 8 pages social fact. Moral codes are external to individuals they also are constraining over individuals because they influence our behaviour. Morality is essential for understanding social order. Durkheim argued that human happiness, social order and social solidarity could only be achieved by regulation of human desires to within attainable limits. In Durkheim's book, 'Division of labour in society' he showed how small scale societies developed to a modern

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere, Assess The Contribution Of Marxism To Our Understanding Of The Role Of Education

1545 words - 7 pages inequalities through the generations by ensuring that most working-class pupils experience educational failure. Education also legitimates this inequality, persuading the working class to accept educational and social inequalities. Other Marxists have also pointed to the existence of a hidden curriculum in schools. Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of Marxism to our understanding of the role of education. (20 marks) Marx

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere, Asses The Contribution Of Functionalism To Our Understanding Of The Role Of Education

618 words - 3 pages about the role of education in society. The following research will focus on the role of education from a Functionalist, Marxist and an Interactionalist's perspective. Functionalists think of education as a positive function for all individuals within society, which has a powerful influence over it. The aims of education in functionalism are to maintain social stability, keep society in consensus and resolve any conflict. Durkheim and Parsons