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Modern Trial of 50 Year-Old Behavioural Study Shows People Still as Obedient to Authority As Before


The title is direct, "Would you deliver an electric shock in 2015?" and the answer, according to the results of this replication study, is yes. Social psychologists from SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Poland replicated a modern version of the Milgram experiment and found results similar to studies conducted 50 years earlier.

The research appears in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

"Our objective was to examine how high a level of obedience we would encounter among residents of Poland," write the authors. "It should be emphasized that tests in the Milgram paradigm have never been conducted in Central Europe. The unique history of the countries in the region made the issue of obedience towards authority seem exceptionally interesting to us."

For those unfamiliar with the Milgram experiment, it tested people's willingness to deliverer electric shocks to another person when encouraged by an experimenter. While no shocks were actually delivered in any of the experiments, the participants believed them to be real. The Milgram experiments demonstrated that under certain conditions of pressure from authority, people are willing to carry out commands even when it may harm someone else.

"Upon learning about Milgram's experiments, a vast majority of people claim that 'I would never behave in such a manner,' says Tomasz Grzyb, a social psychologist involved in the research. "Our study has, yet again, illustrated the tremendous power of the situation the subjects are confronted with and how easily they can agree to things which they find unpleasant."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/sfpa-ctm030917.php



Comments

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    I don't think people are as obedient as they are fearful; the fact that they easily do things they do not necessarily agree with demonstrates (to me at least) that there's an internal voice threatening them with some sort of undesirable consequences for not doing what the authority commands. That fear is a tough hurtle to jump for many.
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    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Farmer_Sean_DEP_Farmer_Sean_DEP_ Member, Moderator
    Do you think you would be willing to press a button dumping a hive of bees onto me if pressured sufficiently by a menacing goat?
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    I did that very thing just an hour ago, as a matter of fact. Can you hear the buzzing yet?
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    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Rosie_MOD_Rosie_MOD_ Moderator
    Obedience 50 years ago represented being governed by far less rules and guidelines than it does today.
    If we are obedient to more laws and pay a greater variety of taxes and fines then perhaps we are far more obedient. For instance 50 years ago most households probably had a few hens in their backyard.  Today council's have a variety of rules on what size house block you have as to whether you can even own a chook.
    It would have been unimagineable 50 years ago to be told you can't grow vegetables in your front yard!

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    I suppose one could say that "obedience" used to mean "morality", but today it means "compliance".
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    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Rosie_MOD_Rosie_MOD_ Moderator
    We don't need morals to be compliant, just fear of repercussion.

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

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