The danger of blind obedience…Question authority!
Milgram. S. “people are not blindly obedient to authority, but respond to a specific social and physical context in which they receive the order”
The report aims to:
1. To summarise the obedience study conducted by Stanley Milgram in 1961.
2. To highlight the dangers of blind obedience by nurses in the workplace.
Stanley Milgram born 1933 and later died at age of 52 in 1984. He was known as “the most productive social psychologist of his generation” (Banyard. P. 2010 p 67). Milgram is most remembered by the Obedience study (1961), the main question he wanted answering was inspired by the activities and the mass murders carried out in WWII by the Nazis and their allies. “What makes people do evil things?” Milgram made this a scientific question but also a personal one as there were over six million European Jews killed during the holocaust.
In 1961 one of the Nazi leaders involved in WWII was on trial, Milgrams question was the centre of the trial. Milgram was particularly interested in the analysis wrote by Hannah Arendt, During the report Arendt referred to the term ‘banality of evil’ as Eichmann’s defence was that he was following his orders and doing his job, this is the reason it engrossed Milgram because there was similarities between Eichmann’s defence and the occurrence that he saw during his own research.
The obedience study
Milgram’s obedience study took place in 1961,”milgram was interested in exploring the level of obedience to scientific authority amongst ordinary men” (Banyard.P. 2010 p74). He placed an advert in a local newspaper seeking volunteers to complete a study on memory at Yale University. He was hoping to find out what makes ordinary men do harm to others, and how far they will obey authority. The forty male participants were told to administer electric shocks to another male if he answered a question incorrectly, the experimenter was in the same room as the participants...