Stanley Milgram Obedience Experiment - Article Example

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The principal question of this particular study is considered to be “Were the Germans, in fact, evil and cold-hearted, or is this a group phenomenon which could happen to anyone, given the right conditions?”…
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Stanley Milgram Obedience Experiment
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Stanley Milgram Obedience Experiment has been realized in the second half of twentieth century in order to understand the behavior of Germans and their crimes in the period of World War 2 (YouTube, 2012). The principal question of this particular study is considered to be “Were the Germans in fact evil and cold-hearted, or is this a group phenomenon which could happen to anyone, given the right conditions?” (, 2008).
There have been three roles in the experiment: the leaner, the experimenter and the subject. The last has been instructed to read a pairs of words to the leaner and if he makes a mistake the subject has to punish the learner by giving him a shock that has been higher in 15 volts for every next mistake (, 2008). The experimenter has sat with the subject and asks him to continue if he has some doubts (, 2008). There have been adjusted commands to each particular doubt of the subject (, 2008). The results show that people under the authority of other people are able to punish their subordinates. What is more, further researches prove that people of any nationality and gender are able to be obedient and only distance and “appearance of the authority person and his rank can increase or decrease the obedience” (, 2008).
The results of the experiment show that person is not always able to be responsible for his/her actions as factors of obedience and authority play an important role in the decisions of a particular individuality. Therefore, person performs the actions he/she is instructed by a higher rank person, and even without desire to hurt another person.
Utilitarianism is the moral theory that presupposes the idea about doing something in order to get benefits from these particular actions. The principal rule of this theory is that “actions are right to the degree that they tend to promote the greatest good for the greatest number” (Kay, 1997). Utilitarianism set the good in the center of morality and therefore this theory implies the responsibility for the action on a person as it is relevant to understand the goodness and act for its prosperity.

Reference List:
Kay, Ch. D. (1997). Notes on Utilitarianism. WOFFORD COLLEGE. Retrieved From:
Milgram Experiment - Obedience to Authority. (Feb 6, 2008). Retrieved:
Milgram Obedience Study (Nov 22, 2012). Dan chalenor, YouTube. Retrieved From: Read More
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