Stanley Milgram's experiments on obedience to authority are among the most important psychological studies of this century. Perhaps because of the enduring significance of the findings--the surprising ease with which ordinary persons can be commanded to act destructively against an innocent individual by a legitimate authority--it continues to claim the attention of psychologists and other social scientists, as well as the general public. The study continues to inspire valuable research and analysis. The goal of this book is to present current work inspired by the obedience paradigm. This book demonstrates the vibrancy of the obedience paradigm by presenting some of its most important and stimulating contemporary uses and applications. Paralleling Milgram's own eclecticism in the content and style of his research and writing, the contributions comprise a potpourri of styles of research and presentation--ranging from personal narratives, through conceptual analyses, to randomized experiments.
A part of Harper Perennial’s special “Resistance Library” highlighting classic works that illuminate our times: A special edition reissue of Stanley Milgram’s landmark examination of humanity’s susceptibility to authoritarianism. “The classic account of the human tendency to follow orders, no matter who they hurt or what their consequences.” — Washington Post Book World In the 1960s, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram famously carried out a series of experiments that forever changed our perceptions of morality and free will. The subjects—or “teachers”—were instructed to administer electroshocks to a human “learner,” with the shocks becoming progressively more powerful and painful. Controversial but now strongly vindicated by the scientific community, these experiments attempted to determine to what extent people will obey orders from authority figures regardless of consequences. “Milgram’s experiments on obedience have made us more aware of the dangers of uncritically accepting authority,” wrote Peter Singer in the New York Times Book Review. With an introduction from Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, Obedience to Authority is Milgram’s fascinating and troubling chronicle of his classic study and a vivid and persuasive explanation of his conclusions.
Author: Mitsuo Miyata
Publisher: Peter Lang
Release Date: 2009
Despite famously small numbers, Christians have had a distinctive presence in modern Japan, particularly for their witness on behalf of democracy and religious freedom. A translation of Ken’i to Fukuju: Kindai Nihon ni okeru Roma-sho Jusan-sho (2003), Authority and Obedience is «a personal pre-history» of the postwar generation of Japanese Christian intellectuals deeply committed to democracy. Using Japanese Christians’ commentary on Paul’s injunction in Romans 13: 1-7, the counsel to «let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God…», Miyata offers an intellectual history of how Japanese Christians understood the emperor-focused modern state from the time of the first Protestant missionaries in the mid-nineteenth century through the climax and demise of fascism during the Pacific War. Stressing verse 5’s admonition to «conscience» as the reason for obedience, Miyata provides a clear and political perspective grounded in his lifelong engagement with German political thought and theology, particularly that of Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as he calls for a conscientious citizenry in his modern society. Showing both Christians’ complicity with the state and the empire – including the formation of a unified church, the Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan – and their attitude toward Christians in Asia, and the complexity of the critical voices of Christians like Uchimura Kanzo, Kashiwagi Gien, Nanbara Shigeru, and many others less well known – Miyata’s work aims not at exposing cultural particularity but at showing how the modern Japanese Christian experience can give meaning to a theology and a political theory of how to live within the «freedom of religious belief».
Stanley Milgram is one of the most influential and widely-cited social psychologists of the twentieth century. Recognized as perhaps the most creative figure in his field, he is famous for crafting social-psychological experiments with an almost artistic sense of creative imagination - casting new light on social phenomena in the process. His 1974 study Obedience to Authority exemplifies creative thinking at its most potent, and controversial. Interested in the degree to which an "authority figure" could encourage people to commit acts against their sense of right and wrong, Milgram tricked volunteers for a "learning experiment" into believing that they were inflicting painful electric shocks on a person in another room. Able to hear convincing sounds of pain and pleas to stop, the volunteers were told by an authority figure - the "scientist" - that they should continue regardless. Contrary to his own predictions, Milgram discovered that, depending on the exact set up, as many as 65% of people would continue right up to the point of "killing" the victim. The experiment showed, he believed, that ordinary people can, and will, do terrible things under the right circumstances, simply through obedience. As infamous and controversial as it was creatively inspired, the "Milgram experiment" shows just how radically creative thinking can shake our most fundamental assumptions.
Author: Mike Cardwell
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 1999
Empire's Children looks at works at by Rudyard Kipling, Frances Hodgson Burnett, E. Nesbit, Hugh Lofting, A.A. Milne, and Arthur Ransome for the ways these writers consciously and unconsciously used the metaphors of empire in their writing for children.
Author: Harold M. Schulweis
Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
Release Date: 2010-04
Questions religion's capacity and will to break from mindless conformity. Challenges us to counter our culture of obedience with the culture of moral compassion, fulfilling religion's obligation to make room for and carry out courageous moral dissent."
Author: Leonard V. Smith
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2014-07-14
Literary and historical conventions have long painted the experience of soldiers during World War I as simple victimization. Leonard Smith, however, argues that a complex dialogue of resistance and negotiation existed between French soldiers and their own commanders. In this case study of wartime military culture, Smith analyzes the experience of the French Fifth Infantry Division in both pitched battle and trench warfare. The division established a distinguished fighting record from 1914 to 1916, yet proved in 1917 the most mutinous division in the entire French army, only to regain its elite reputation in 1918. Drawing on sources from ordinary soldiers to well-known commanders such as General Charles Mangin, the author explains how the mutinies of 1917 became an explicit manifestation of an implicit struggle that took place within the French army over the whole course of the war. Smith pays particular attention to the pivotal role of noncommissioned and junior officers, who both exercised command authority and shared the physical perils of men in the lower ranks. He shows that "soldiers," broadly defined, learned to determine rules of how they would and would not fight the war, and imposed these rules on the command structure itself. By altering the parameters of command authority in accordance with their own perceived interests, soldiers and commanders negotiated a behavioral space between mutiny and obedience. Originally published in 1994. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Liberals and conservatives disagree about obeying authorities, with conservatives holding the more positive views. We suggest that reactions to conservative authorities, rather than to obedience itself, are responsible for the division. Past findings that conservatives favor obedience uniformly confounded obedience with conservative authorities. We break down obedience to authority into its constituent parts to test the divisiveness of each part. The concepts of obedience (Study 1) and authority (Study 2) recruited inferences of conservative authorities, conflating results of simple, seemingly face valid tests of their divisiveness. These results establish necessary features of a valid test, to which Study 3 conforms. Conservatives have the more positive moral views of obedience only when the authorities are conservative (e.g., commanding officers); liberals do when the authorities are liberal (e.g., environmentalists). The two camps agree about obeying ideologically neutral authorities (e.g., office managers). Obedience itself is not ideologically divisive.
Author: Gina Perry
Publisher: New Press, The
Release Date: 2013-09-03
When social psychologist Stanley Milgram invited volunteers to take part in an experiment at Yale in the summer of 1961, none of the participants could have foreseen the worldwide sensation that the published results would cause. Milgram reported that fully 65 percent of the volunteers had repeatedly administered electric shocks of increasing strength to a man they believed to be in severe pain, even suffering a life-threatening heart condition, simply because an authority figure had told them to do so. Such behavior was linked to atrocities committed by ordinary people under the Nazi regime and immediately gripped the public imagination. The experiments remain a source of controversy and fascination more than fifty years later. In Behind the Shock Machine, psychologist and author Gina Perry unearths for the first time the full story of this controversial experiment and its startling repercussions. Interviewing the original participants—many of whom remain haunted to this day about what they did—and delving deep into Milgram’s personal archive, she pieces together a more complex picture and much more troubling picture of these experiments than was originally presented by Milgram. Uncovering the details of the experiments leads her to question the validity of that 65 percent statistic and the claims that it revealed something essential about human nature. Fleshed out with dramatic transcripts of the tests themselves, the book puts a human face on the unwitting people who faced the moral test of the shock machine and offers a gripping, unforgettable tale of one man’s ambition and an experiment that defined a generation.
Author: David R. Blumenthal
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Release Date: 1999-04-05
People who helped exterminate Jews during the shoah (Hebrew for "holocaust") often claimed that they only did what was expected of them. Intrigued by hearing the same response from individuals who rescued Jews, David R. Blumenthal proposes that the notion of ordinariness used to characterize Nazi evil is equally applicable to goodness. In this provocative book, Blumenthal develops a new theory of human behavior that identifies the social and psychological factors that foster both good and evil behavior. Drawing on lessons primarily from the shoah but also from well-known obedience and altruism experiments, My Lai, and the civil rights movement, Blumenthal deftly interweaves insights from psychology, history, and social theory to create a new way of looking at human behavior. Blumenthal identifies the factors — social hierarchy, education, and childhood discipline — that shape both good and evil attitudes and actions. Considering how our religious and educational institutions might do a better job of encouraging goodness and discouraging evil, he then makes specific recommendations for cultivating goodness in people, stressing the importance of the social context of education. He reinforces his ideas through stories, teachings, and case histories from the Jewish tradition that convey important lessons in resistance and goodness. Appendices include the ethical code of the Israel Defense Forces, material on non-violence from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center, a suggested syllabus for a Jewish elementary school, and a list of prosocial sources on the Web, as well as a complete bibliography. If people can commit acts of evil without thinking, why can’t even more commit acts of kindness? Writing with power and insight, Blumenthal shows readers of all faiths how we might replace patterns of evil with empathy, justice, and caring, and through a renewed attention to moral education, perhaps prevent future shoahs.