Stanley Milgram was an American psychologist. He was a very controversial figure due to his researches and experiments that he did. The most famous of all being the obedience study that he did. 

Dr. Stanley Milgram outside a subway stop in Manhattan. Librado Romero/The New York Times. 1975 / 29milgram

This is considered as one of the most historic and famous research ever done on psychology. This targeted a comparison between how a person reacts to something that conflicts between his own conscience and obedience to an authority. 

The Motivation Behind the Milgram’s Experiment

The experiment was to check how Germans react to orders and their own thoughts. His main idea was to see how much lengths a person can go if he is ordered to hurt someone. He wanted to know that in case of a war such as World War 2, what people can do if they are ordered to kill the other people.

The Experiment 

Milgram paid the people to come and be a part of this experiment. Everyone who showed up was paid 4.50$. And 40 males were selected whose ages were between 20 to 50 years. 

He divided the people into two categories that were a teacher and learner. All the selected 40 people were introduced to an associate which was Milgram himself. The two positions were determined among the learner and teacher. Milgram himself always was the learner in all experiments. There was also a 3rd person involved who was introduced as the experimenter and wore a grey coat. 

Two different rooms were used for experiments. The learner was strapped to a chair that had strong electrodes capable of delivering a strong electric shock. He was put in one room and the teacher and the experimenter in the other room. 

A list of questions was given to the learner and he had to memorize it and every time he gave a wrong answer he would be electrocuted. The teacher and experimenter were handed the questions with the possible correct answers and 4 options in total. The learner was supposed to give wrong answers on purpose and on every wrong answer the teacher would shock him and increase the current intensity on every wrong answer. And if the learner would not give any right answer the teacher would give him 4 different prods to make him continue. This continued for 40 people and the overall results were collected.


All the 40 people that were selected all of them reached more than 300 watts of current while 65% people even reached a peak current of 450 watts. So, this proved to Milgram that people were blinded by commands from upper people even if it made them kill a person. And to prove it even more completely he not only did this experiment once but did it 18 different times and providing different situations in each but the result was same overall.

Taking orders from higher authorities is integrated in our brains this was the motivation of the whole experiment and this was proved by Milgram.

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