A Santa Clara University professor is the latest person to replicate Stanley Milgram's shocking 1960s psychological experiments around obedience to authority. As regular BB readers know, Yale University social psychologist Milgram's most infamous study involved subjects administering apparently painful and even lethal electric shocks to others just because an authority figure in a lab coat told them to. Times have changed, but people haven't. From the San Jose Mercury News:
Burger found that 70 percent of the participants had to be stopped from escalating shocks over 150 volts, despite hearing cries of protest and pain. Decades earlier, Milgram found that 82.5 percent of participants continued administering shocks. Of those, 79 percent continued to the shock generator's end, at 450 volts."Santa Clara University professor mirrors famous torture study" (Thanks, Robert Pescovitz!)
Burger's experiment did not go that far.
"The conclusion is not: 'Gosh isn't this a horrible commentary on human nature,' or 'these people were so sadistic,'' said Burger.
"It shows the opposite – that there are situational forces that have a much greater impact on our behavior than most people recognize,'' he said.
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