Stanley Milgram versus Diana Baumrind

Essay by tombraiderCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2005

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Obedience is when someone does what a person or rule tells him or her to do. People tend to follow orders of an authority, and this can sometimes result in a negative effect. An example would include all those people who were obedient to Hitler, and killed innocent people in the Holocaust. For instance, Stanley Milgram, in his article, Perils of Obedience, writes about his experiment, of how people obey an authority, neglecting their conscience, and how this can be a threat to real life experiences. In contrast, another Psychologist, Diana Baumrind, in her article, "Review of Stanley Milgram's experiments on obedience," states that Milgram's experiment was unsuccessful for many reasons; and therefore, it is not valid. Both Psychologists have different views on the validity of the experiment and on how this experiment shows if people would obey an authority no matter what, in real life or not.

The experiment conducted in 1963 by a Psychologist named Stanley Milgram, consisted of a diverse group of people that where forced to obey an authority. The participants consisted of a teacher, a student and the experimenter. The teacher had to read word pairs to the student once, and the students had to memorize them. After this, the teacher would read a word to the student, and the student should have already memorized the pair. Whenever the student made an error, he would receive electric shocks of increasing intensity. The electric shocks were not real, but the teacher did not know this, and thought he was really hurting the student. The experimenter would insist the teacher to continue with the shocks and the teacher would decide how far to go. Therefore, the experiment was focused on the teacher, in order to see how human beings obey orders in real life, and...