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The experiment requires that you continue

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
You have no other choice, you must go on. Please continue.

You may or may not have heard or something called The Milgram experiment. It was a technique and session brought on in 1961 as a test of memory. Only to be honest, it wasn't.

For those of you the experiment worked like this:

Two members of the public, call them Teacher and Learner meet a Scientist in a room. The Learner is strapped to a chair and told to learn a set of words or numbers. The Teacher along with The Scientist go into another room. In the other room the Teacher asks the Learner to repeat the order, if they get it right they are fine, if they get it wrong they receive an electric shock from between 15volts & 450volts depending on how well they did and how many answers they got wrong. The idea of the experiment is to see if someone would do something just because they are told. I am watching a Derren Brown special on channel 4 where he uses a fake version of this experiment using a pre recorded soundtrack and actors to see who listens without asking one, one of the people involved asked the question "well shouldn't the voltage go higher?", I will post a link to the program if you are interested.

Now I think most would agree this was a sick thing to do, to put someone under pain just because I am told to is something I would never wish to do however, given some circumstances this may have been done under some people may not have had a lot of choice. Do you think if you were the Teacher you would do this just because you are told to (please don't judge anyone who says yes), do you do things without question or would you turn around and ask why you are being told to do so?

I would like to think I never would but I couldn't honestly say I never would either.

The program
 

Nevyrmoore

AKA Ass-Bandit
Wasn't the original experiment also a fake? That the "learners" were actually part of the experiment staff, and were told to act being in pain?
 

Dabs

Registered Member
Real or no, if I were put in a position of the 'teacher' and being told to do these shocks, NO, I would not go along with it just because someone said to do it.
In anything in real life, if I am told to do something, and I know it is the right thing, it is allowed, and it is safe and legal (haha), yes I would do as I were told. For instance, part of the job routine, etc.
But if I felt it was wrong, someone might be harmed or it just left me feeling of a strange sensation in my gut, I would not do it, I would definitely be questioning somebody.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
It's definitely fake I got a 2 hour long session on this exact experiment about 2 months ago. It really is a brutal thing to even make people think that they are "lethally shocking" somebody. The person pushing the button was an actual civilian but the person who was acting as if they were being shocked wasn't anything but an actor.

Milgram experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It says here that 65% of people went all the way to the 450 volts which is insane.

Apparently Western societies (America and Europe) showed high levels of obedience to continue while everyone else tested did not, that's interesting, I didn't know that part.

Of course though we all know that it's current that kills you not voltage, you can survive 20,000 volts, volts are simply potential energy for current.
 

Rebeccaaa

yellow 4!
Yeah, the people being shocked (the learners) were confederates to the experiment. The only participants were the 'teachers' who were doing the shocking, as instructed by the experimenters.

There has been a more recent replicate of this experiment done under more ethical circumstances but I'd have to go look through my books to find it... I'm sure it's easily found on the web though.

To answer the OP question, I'm 99% sure nobody here can say for sure what they would do in that situation. As for myself, I'd hope that I wouldn't go to a high voltage but obviously people did when they really, really did not want to, so it seems like anything can happen when you're under pressure from a person in authority. The participants also were not told they were free to withdraw at any time etc, so I'm sure the results would have been different had they known it wasn't compulsory to shock to the highest voltage.
Also, they were paid quite a lot of money at the time, which can give people an incentive to do things they wouldn't otherwise do.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
The point of the experiment is to see how people react to authority, and is used to explain how ordinary people acted and reacted in abhorrent ways in Nazi Germany. "I was just following orders"

I love Social Psychology.
 

Jessticles

Registered Member
Of course everyone is going to say that they wouldn't. The whole point of this experiment was to prove that so many people actually were comfortable with doing it. It's all well and good to say in theory "ohhhh no, I wouldn't do anything like that", but when you're in that situation....

It's the same as the prison experiments and the likes. I bet those people would have said they'd never do anything like that either!
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
I'd like to think I wouldn't, but I sure hope I never have to find out that I'm wrong on that score.
 

Random9

Registered Member
i'm pretty sure ive heard of this and the people "shocked" were actors.

and i would probably press the button if im told to do so
(im given a command by someone who could just as easily press the button themselves thus even if i refuse it'll achieve nothing)
 
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