en-fr  Good People, Evil Actions.
Braves gens, mauvaises actions.
Qu'est-ce qui amène de braves gens à faire des choses horribles ?
Posté le 27 février 2017 par Irma Hyman PH D. Tout le monde peut-il devenir un monstre ? Nous aimons penser que seules les personnes marginales et affreuses font des choses malfaisantes. Mais si quelqu'un, même une personne foncièrement brave, veut accomplir de mauvaises actions ?

Je suis inquiet au sujet de la méchanceté. Je ne parle pas des simples mauvaises actions banales que parfois nous commettons tous. Mentir occasionnellement, faire un excès de vitesse ou insulter quelqu'un. Je parle du mal. Nuire gravement à quelqu'un ou le tuer. Décider de blesser ou de tuer tout un groupe de gens en raison de leur couleur de peau, de leur origine ethnique ou de leur religion. Ces cent dernières années, de multiples épisodes de génocide se sont produits.

Voici ma question : y-a-t-il seulement quelques personnes vraiment monstrueuses qui veulent accomplir de tels actes de barbarie ou est-ce quelque chose que presque n'importe qui est capable de faire?

Ce fut la question théorique fondamentale que Stanley Milgram (1963) posa dans ses recherches sur l'obéissance à l'autorité. Milgram désirait comprendre l'holocauste. Il commença son article en se concentrant sur le fait que "de 1933 à 1945 des millions de personnes innocentes furent systématiquement massacrées sur ordre." Il établit que les ordres "avaient été élaborés dans le cerveau d'une seule personne, mais qu'ils ne pouvaient être exécutés à une échelle de masse que si un très grand nombre de personnes obéissaient aux ordres" (p. 371).

Tandis que je rédige cet article de blog, nous avons juste passé le 75e anniversaire de Pearl Harbor et de l'entrée des Etats-Unis dans la seconde guerre mondiale. Le 27 janvier était le Jour du Souvenir de l'Holocauste, un moment pour se remémorer les millions de Juifs et autres qui furent exterminés par les nazis. Ce mois-ci, février 2017, marque la 75e année depuis que le président Roosevelt a signé le décret qui eut pour résultat l'internement des personnes d'origine japonaise. L'internement n'eut pas pour conséquence l'exécution de personnes comme cela se produisit durant l'holocauste nazi. Néanmoins, je cite l'internement des japonais comme un autre exemple d'un moment où des gens plutôt biens ont fait quelque chose de mal. Des innocents furent emprisonnés. Des gens perdirent leur liberté et leurs biens en raison de la couleur de leur peau, de leur origine ethnique. Des gens respectables dans l'ensemble suivaient les ordres. Ils obéirent à l'autorité.

Milgram étudia la manière dont les gens biens et normaux qui suivent les ordres peuvent nuire à d'autres personnes. Dans ses recherches, un seul individu rencontre l'expérimentateur et quelqu'un qui se révèle être un autre participant. Mais cette autre personne est en fait un complice de l'expérimentateur. L'expérience est censée concerner l'impact de la punition sur l'apprentissage. On vous assigne le rôle de professeur et le complice devient l'élève. Le complice étudiant est emmené dans une pièce voisine et attaché sur une chaise et des électrodes sont fixées à son poignet. La tâche du complice est de mémoriser des couples de mots. Quant l'élève fait une erreur, on vous demande à vous, le professeur, de lui envoyer une décharge. Les décharges progressent graduellement de 15 à 450 volts. Des étiquettes verbales sont également attachées aux chocs électriques. Ceux-ci s'échelonnent progressivement de léger à modéré, fort, intense, danger et grave. Les deux derniers chocs sont simplement estampillés XXX. Quand vous appliquez une décharge, le panneau des disjoncteurs émet un bourdonnement. Dans certaines versions de l'expérience, vous n'entendez rien jusqu'à ce que vous atteigniez le 20e choc à 300 volts. A ce stade, l'élève tambourine sur le mur et cesse de répondre. Dans d'autres versions, quand vous mettez en œuvre des décharges plus importantes, l'élève complice donne une séries de réponses préétablies. A 75 volts, il se plaint pour la première fois. A 150, il demande qu'on le libère. A 180, il répond qu'il ne peut pas supporter la douleur. A nouveau à 300 volts, on peut entendre un tambourinement et il ne répond plus. On vous demande de considérer une non-réponse comme une erreur et de continuer à lui administrer des décharges jusqu'à 450 volts. Si vous exprimez une inquiétude, l'expérimentateur vous demande de poursuivre.

Permettez-moi d'être clair : ces recherches impliquent une immense déception. Le complice n'a jamais subi de décharge. Etant donné la déception et la tension que les participants ont expérimentées, on continue aussi à discuter de l'éthique de ce genre de recherche.

Mais imaginez que vous participez à l'étude. Quand pensez-vous que vous arrêteriez? Quand pensez-vous que la plupart des gens arrêteraient? Quel pourcentage de gens, selon vous, continueraient jusqu'au bout? Faites votre estimation avant de poursuivre la lecture.

Milgram a souvent décrit le modèle de base puis demandé aux gens quand ils pensaient que la plupart des personnes s'arrêteraient et quel pourcentage, à leur avis, continueraient jusqu'au bout - jusqu'au bout jusqu'aux 450 volts marqués XXX, la personne restant silencieuse et jusqu'au point de blessure apparente. Presque tout le monde croit que très peu de gens continueraient jusqu'à la fin. Quand Milgram demanda à des étudiants en introduction à la psychologie combien de personnes continueraient jusqu'à la fin, leurs estimations s'échelonnèrent de 0 à 3%. Quand il interrogea des psychiatres professionnels, ils estimèrent que la plupart des personnes stopperaient à la 10e décharge quand le complice se plaint pour la première fois. En moyenne, les psychiatres estimèrent que moins de 1% iraient jusqu'au bout. Nous croyons qu'il y a très peu de gens qui feraient quelque chose d'aussi absolument cruel.
C'est ce qui rend les résultats réels tout à fait troublants et essentiels. Personne ne s'arrête quand le complice demande pour la première fois d'arrêter. Personne ne s'arrête quand le complice crie de douleur. Quelques participants s'arrêtent finalement au 20e choc électrique - à 300 volts, quand le complice refuse de répondre et tambourine sur le mur. Mais 12,5 % seulement s'arrêtent à ce moment. La plupart continuent. Effroyablement, 65% vont jusqu'au bout.

Pas besoin de chercher des méchants pour trouver des gens afin de commettre des atrocités. Le mal n'est pas toujours un trait caractéristique de l'individu. Le mal peut exister dans le contexte. Dans certains cas, même des gens biens commettront des actes monstrueux. L'holocauste n'a pas été perpétré uniquement par des monstres. Les gens qui ont enfermé les citoyens d'origine japonaise n'étaient pas d'horribles êtres humains. Des gens plutôt corrects ont participé à ces actions.

Gardez à l'esprit que l'expérience de Milgram ne se déroule pas dans un contexte exceptionnel. Les participants n'étaient aucunement menacés. Ils n'allaient pas perdre leur emploi s'ils s'arrêtaient. Personne ne menaçait leurs familles. Les participants étaient tendus, exprimaient souvent de l'inquiétude pour le complice et demandaient fréquemment d'arrêter. Mais sur une demande tranquille de l'expérimentateur, ils continuaient pourtant.

Milgram et de nombreux autres se sont efforcés de comprendre pourquoi les gens obéissaient. Je veux noter quelques aspects de la situation que Milgram (1974) pensa être particulièrement importants. Tout d'abord, le participant devient absorbé en faisant la tâche. Ils poursuivent leur tâche conscienceusement jusqu'au bout. Ceci semble être ce que Hannah Arendt décrivit comme la "banalité du mal". Le mal est accompli par les gens en suivant soigneusement les ordres pour exécuter correctement de petites actions. Milgram note également que les gens font passer leur jugement moral derrière le symbole de l'autorité. Une fois engagés dans leur tâche, ils focalisent sur le fait de bien faire leur boulot. Ils ne focalisent pas sur l'éthique de la situation dans son ensemble. Fait décisif, de nombreux participants commençaient à constater que le complice méritait les sanctions Ils le virent comme différent et indigne. Imaginez mettre en évidence la manière dont un groupe est différent et représente une menace. Il sera ainsi plus facile pour les gens de les voir comme méritant ce qui leur arrive.

Si vous voulez prévenir le mal et si si vous ne voulez pas simplement suivre les ordres, alors vous devez mettre fin à la situation. Vous devez garder à l'esprit la situation dans son ensemble et non pas juste les petites actions que vous devez faire. Vous devez conserver votre propre responsabilité éthique. Pour garder un oeil critique, vous devez toujours regarder les autres humains comme méritant un traitement juste et raisonnable. La meilleure défense contre le risque de commettre des atrocités peut être d'avoir un sens aigu de l'empathie pour tout le monde. Valorisé la diversité et se focaliser sur les ressemblances pourrait vous permettre de résister aux efforts de diabolisation individuelle ou de groupe.

Je n'enseigne pas, ni n'écris sur les études d'obéissance de Milgram simplement comme une leçon d'histoire. Il ne s'agit pas seulement de l'holocauste, ou d'autres cas historiques de génocide ou de l'internement japonais. L'obéissance à l'autorité est totalement contemporaine. J'enseigne à mes étudiants que l'histoire ne se répète pas. J'écris pour toujours me souvenir. Connaître les études de Milgram est essentiel. Vous devriez être préparé au cas ou vous vous trouveriez vous-même dans une situation où l'obéissance risque de violer vos propres standards éthiques.

Récemment, j'ai fréquemment pensé à l'obéissance à l'autorité. J'ai regardé comment les gens réagissaient aux crises des réfugiés syriens. Je me suis inquiété quand j'ai lu les nouvelles concernant la manière dont les gens de mon pays décrivent et traitent les migrants sans papiers, les musulmans et les autres personnes qui sont différentes. J'enseigne que nous devons apprendre du passé.

Dans ses écrits Milgram (1965) concluait : " Les résultats sont dérangeants pour cet auteur. They raise the possibility that human nature, or more specifically, the kind of character produced in American democratic society, cannot be counted on to insulate its citizens from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If in this study an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a fifty-year-old man, and force on him painful electric shocks against his protests, one can only wonder what government, with its vastly greater authority and prestige, can command of it subjects. There is, of course, the extremely important question of whether malevolent political institutions could or would arise in American society (p 75).” If you are interested in learning more about Milgram’s work, a movie that focused on the obedience studies and his other research was released in 2015. I strongly recommend watching ‘The Experimenter.’ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-mishaps/201702/good-people-evil-actions
unit 1
Good People, Evil Actions.
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What leads good people to do horrible things?
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Posted Feb 27, 2017 by Ira Hyman Ph D. Can anyone become a monster?
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We like to think that only unusual and horrible people do evil things.
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But what if anyone, even a basically good person, will perform evil actions?
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I am worried about evil.
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I don’t mean simple run-of-the-mill bad things that we all do sometimes.
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The occasional lie, speeding, or insulting someone.
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I mean evil.
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Causing serious harm or killing someone.
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In the last 100 years, there have been multiple episodes of genocide.
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Milgram wanted to understand the holocaust.
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The internment did not result in the execution of people as occurred during the Nazi holocaust.
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Innocent people were imprisoned.
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People lost their freedom and property based on the color of their skin, their ethnic background.
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Basically decent people were following orders.
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They obeyed authority.
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Milgram studied how normal, good people following orders can harm another person.
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But that other person is actually a confederate of the experimenter.
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The experiment supposedly concerns the impact of punishment on learning.
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You are assigned the role of teacher and the confederate becomes the learner.
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The task is for the confederate to memorize pairs of words.
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When the learner makes an error, you, the teacher, are asked to give him a shock.
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The shocks gradually escalate from 15 to 450 volts.
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Verbal labels are attached to the shock switches as well.
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These escalate from slight, to moderate, strong, intense, danger, and severe.
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The last two switches are simply labeled XXX.
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When you apply a shock, the panel containing the switches makes a buzzing sound.
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In some versions of the experiment, you hear nothing until you reach the 20th shock at 300 volts.
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At that point, the learner pounds on the wall and he stops responding.
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At 75 volts, he complains for the first time.
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At 150, he demands to be let out.
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At 180, he responds that he can’t stand the pain.
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Again at 300 volts, pounding can be heard and he no longer responds.
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You are told to treat a nonresponse as an error and continue administering shocks up to 450 volts.
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If you express concern, the experimenter asks you to continue.
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Let me be clear: This research involved very strong deception.
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The confederate was never shocked.
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But imagine being a participant in the study.
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When do you think you would stop?
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When do you think most people will stop?
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What percentage of people do you think would continue all the way to the end?
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Make your estimate before reading further.
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Almost everyone believes that very few people would continue to the end.
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On average the psychiatrists estimated that less than 1% would continue to the end.
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We believe there are very few people who would do something so clearly cruel.
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This is what makes the actual results completely disturbing and important.
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No one stopped when the confederate first asked to stop.
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No one stopped when the confederate cried in pain.
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But only 12.5% stopped then.
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Most continued.
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Horrifyingly, 65% continued to the end.
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You do not have to search for villains to find people to commit atrocities.
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Evil is not always a characteristic of the person.
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Evil can exist in the situation.
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In some situations, even good people will commit evil acts.
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The holocaust wasn’t perpetrated only by monsters.
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The people who locked up citizens of Japanese descent weren’t awful human beings.
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Basically decent people participated in these actions.
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You should keep in mind that Milgram’s experiment isn’t that powerful of a situation.
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There were no threats to the participants.
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They wouldn’t lose their jobs for stopping.
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No one threatened their families.
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But at a calm request from the experimenter, they nonetheless continued.
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Milgram and many others have endeavored to understand why people obey.
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First the participant becomes absorbed in doing the task.
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They follow through carefully.
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Milgram also noted that people seem to pass their moral judgment to the authority figure.
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Once engaged in the task, they focus on doing their job well.
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They do not focus on the ethics of the overall situation.
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Crucially, many of the participants started to see the confederate as deserving the punishments.
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They saw him as different and unworthy.
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Imagine highlighting how a group of people are different and a threat.
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This will make it easier for people to see them as deserving what happens to them.
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You should keep in mind the big picture not just the small actions you’re performing.
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You must retain your own ethical responsibility.
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Critically, you must always see other humans as deserving of fair and reasonable treatment.
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The best defense against committing atrocities may be a strong sense of empathy for all people.
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I don’t teach and write about Milgram’s obedience studies merely as a history lesson.
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Obedience to authority is completely contemporary.
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I teach my students so that history won’t repeat itself.
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I write so that I always remember.
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Knowing about Milgram’s studies is critical.
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Recently, I’ve thought frequently about obedience to authority.
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I’ve watched how people are responding to the Syrian refugee crises.
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I teach so that we learn from the past.
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In his writing, Milgram (1965) concluded: “The results are to this author disturbing.
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Good People, Evil Actions.
What leads good people to do horrible things?
Posted Feb 27, 2017 by Ira Hyman Ph D.

Can anyone become a monster? We like to think that only unusual and horrible people do evil things. But what if anyone, even a basically good person, will perform evil actions?

I am worried about evil. I don’t mean simple run-of-the-mill bad things that we all do sometimes. The occasional lie, speeding, or insulting someone. I mean evil. Causing serious harm or killing someone. Choosing to harm or kill an entire group of people based on the color of their skin, their ethnic background, or their religion. In the last 100 years, there have been multiple episodes of genocide.

Here’s my question: Are there only a few truly monstrous people who will perform these acts of evil or is it something that almost anyone will do?

This was the fundamental theoretical question that Stanley Milgram (1963) asked in his research on obedience to authority. Milgram wanted to understand the holocaust. He opened his paper by focusing on the fact that “from 1933 to 1945 millions of innocent persons were systematically slaughtered on command.” He stated that the commands “originated in the mind of a single person, but they could only be carried out on a massive scale if a very large number of persons obeyed orders” (p. 371).

As I write this blog post, we have just passed the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the US entry into World War II. January 27th was Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time to reflect on the millions of Jews and others who were slaughtered by the Nazis. This month, February 2017, marks the 75th year since President Roosevelt signed the executive order that resulted in the internment of people of Japanese descent. The internment did not result in the execution of people as occurred during the Nazi holocaust. Nonetheless, I list the Japanese internment as another example of a time when basically good people did something evil. Innocent people were imprisoned. People lost their freedom and property based on the color of their skin, their ethnic background. Basically decent people were following orders. They obeyed authority.

Milgram studied how normal, good people following orders can harm another person. In his research, a single individual meets the experimenter and someone who appears to be another participant. But that other person is actually a confederate of the experimenter. The experiment supposedly concerns the impact of punishment on learning. You are assigned the role of teacher and the confederate becomes the learner. The confederate learner is taken to an adjoining room, is strapped into a chair, and has electrodes attached to his wrist. The task is for the confederate to memorize pairs of words. When the learner makes an error, you, the teacher, are asked to give him a shock. The shocks gradually escalate from 15 to 450 volts. Verbal labels are attached to the shock switches as well. These escalate from slight, to moderate, strong, intense, danger, and severe. The last two switches are simply labeled XXX. When you apply a shock, the panel containing the switches makes a buzzing sound. In some versions of the experiment, you hear nothing until you reach the 20th shock at 300 volts. At that point, the learner pounds on the wall and he stops responding. In other versions, as you apply greater shocks, the confederate learner makes a series of predetermined responses. At 75 volts, he complains for the first time. At 150, he demands to be let out. At 180, he responds that he can’t stand the pain. Again at 300 volts, pounding can be heard and he no longer responds. You are told to treat a nonresponse as an error and continue administering shocks up to 450 volts. If you express concern, the experimenter asks you to continue.

Let me be clear: This research involved very strong deception. The confederate was never shocked. Given the deception and the stress participants experienced, people continue to debate the ethics of this type of research as well.

But imagine being a participant in the study. When do you think you would stop? When do you think most people will stop? What percentage of people do you think would continue all the way to the end? Make your estimate before reading further.

Milgram often described the basic design and then asked people when they thought most people would stop and what percentage they thought would continue all the way to the end – all the way to the XXX 450 volts, the person not responding, and the point of apparent harm. Almost everyone believes that very few people would continue to the end. When Milgram asked introductory psychology students how many people would continue to the end, their estimates ranged from 0 to 3%. When he surveyed professional psychiatrists, they estimated that most people would stop at the 10th shock when the confederate first complained. On average the psychiatrists estimated that less than 1% would continue to the end. We believe there are very few people who would do something so clearly cruel.
This is what makes the actual results completely disturbing and important. No one stopped when the confederate first asked to stop. No one stopped when the confederate cried in pain. A few participants finally stopped at the 20th shock – at 300 volts, when the confederate refused to answer and pounded on the wall. But only 12.5% stopped then. Most continued. Horrifyingly, 65% continued to the end.

You do not have to search for villains to find people to commit atrocities. Evil is not always a characteristic of the person. Evil can exist in the situation. In some situations, even good people will commit evil acts. The holocaust wasn’t perpetrated only by monsters. The people who locked up citizens of Japanese descent weren’t awful human beings. Basically decent people participated in these actions.

You should keep in mind that Milgram’s experiment isn’t that powerful of a situation. There were no threats to the participants. They wouldn’t lose their jobs for stopping. No one threatened their families. The participants were stressed, often expressed concern for the confederate, and frequently asked to stop. But at a calm request from the experimenter, they nonetheless continued.

Milgram and many others have endeavored to understand why people obey. I want to note a few aspects of the situation that Milgram (1974) thought were particularly important. First the participant becomes absorbed in doing the task. They follow through carefully. This seems to be what Hannah Arendt described as the “banality of evil.” Evil is performed by people carefully following orders to perform small actions correctly. Milgram also noted that people seem to pass their moral judgment to the authority figure. Once engaged in the task, they focus on doing their job well. They do not focus on the ethics of the overall situation. Crucially, many of the participants started to see the confederate as deserving the punishments. They saw him as different and unworthy. Imagine highlighting how a group of people are different and a threat. This will make it easier for people to see them as deserving what happens to them.

If you want to forestall evil and if you want to not simply follow orders, then you have to break the situation. You should keep in mind the big picture not just the small actions you’re performing. You must retain your own ethical responsibility. Critically, you must always see other humans as deserving of fair and reasonable treatment. The best defense against committing atrocities may be a strong sense of empathy for all people. Valuing diversity and focusing on similarities may enable you to resist efforts to demonize individuals and groups.

I don’t teach and write about Milgram’s obedience studies merely as a history lesson. This isn’t just about the holocaust, other historical instances of genocide, and the Japanese internment. Obedience to authority is completely contemporary. I teach my students so that history won’t repeat itself. I write so that I always remember. Knowing about Milgram’s studies is critical. You should be prepared in case you ever find yourself in a situation when obedience means violating your own ethical standards.

Recently, I’ve thought frequently about obedience to authority. I’ve watched how people are responding to the Syrian refugee crises. I’ve worried as I’ve read the news concerning how people in my country are describing and treating to undocumented immigrants, Muslims, and other people who are different. I teach so that we learn from the past.

In his writing, Milgram (1965) concluded:
“The results are to this author disturbing. They raise the possibility that human nature, or more specifically, the kind of character produced in American democratic society, cannot be counted on to insulate its citizens from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If in this study an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a fifty-year-old man, and force on him painful electric shocks against his protests, one can only wonder what government, with its vastly greater authority and prestige, can command of it subjects. There is, of course, the extremely important question of whether malevolent political institutions could or would arise in American society (p 75).”

If you are interested in learning more about Milgram’s work, a movie that focused on the obedience studies and his other research was released in 2015. I strongly recommend watching ‘The Experimenter.’

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-mishaps/201702/good-people-evil-actions