Why so many people obey when they feel coerced? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram made an experiment to find the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded that people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to cooperate with the authority, even when acting against their own better judgment and desires. Milgram’s experiment illustrates that people's reluctance to confront those who abuse power. The point of the experiment was to see how far a person will proceed in a concrete and measurable situation in which he is ordered to inflict increasing pain on a protesting victim, at what point will the subject refuse to obey the experimenter. One main question of the experiment was that how far the participant will comply with the experimenter’s instructions before refusing to carry out the actions required of him?
In the experiment, participants were told they were involved in a learning experiment, that they were to administer electrical shocks and that they should continue to the end of the experiment. Participants can receive little money, four dollar and fifty cents, as benefit. There were three roles were involved, participants performed the teachers that actually being studied; one investigator performed the students who would be punished by electrical shock; another investigator performed the strict role who gave the orders when participants wanted to give up. During the course of the experiment, each time the ‘student’ made a mistake the participant was ordered to administer ever-increasing electrical shocks. Participants were not in fact delivering electrical shocks. The student was kept out of sight of the participant’s view, so they believed they were hurting the student. And they were told that towards the end of the experiment the shocks were extremely painful and the student might well have been rendered unconscious. During the experiment, participant would hear student’s yell and bagging to stop. When the participant baulked at giving the electrical shocks, the authority investigator, who sat near by the participant, would order them to continue. Then, investigator observed the participant’s behavior and feeling.
In the result of the study, sixty-five percent participants delivered the maximum shocks while thirty-five percent participants stopped before reaching the highest levels. It is important to note that many participants became extremely agitated, distraught and angry at the experimenter. Yet they still continued to follow orders all the way to the end. Because of concerns about the amount of anxiety experienced by many of the participants, all participants were told the truth at the end of the experiment. Milgram did the surveyed later, and found that eight-four percent were glad to have participated, while only one percent regretted their involvement.
In the conclusion, why did so many of the participants in this experiment still obey the authority’s order even these participants felt uncomfortable and wanted to...