Conformity Experiments | Nazism
The conformity experiments of Solomon Asch and Stanley Milgram, both Jewish psychologists in America in the aftermath of World War II, sought to understand how Nazism grabbed the minds of a sophisticated nation.
Their experiments reveal how individuals conform and obey, against both their better judgement and even their ethical principles.
Stanley Milgram “Obedience to Authority”
If people are told they will not be held responsible for the suffering they inflict on others, even if it causes significant pain, they will comply, even when they can hear the agonized screams.
Even when instructed to use a voltage that was indisputably lethal, 50% of the test subjects had willingly killed another human being when instructed to do so in the context of the experiment.
In every single case, upon interviewing the study participants afterwards, the participants affirmed they were simply following orders because the experimenter presented as an authority figure. They felt like they were supposed to listen to him, even at the expense of their own morality and their feelings of discomfort.
The mandate to obey authority, is so deeply ingrained in us, we are unlikely to resist it. If they were told they would not be held responsible, and had reassurance that the authority figure did indeed want them to inflict harm, the participants then felt as though their actions cannot really be attributed to them.
Stanley Milgram “Obedience to Authority”
Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist whose experiments on human subjects interrogated our understanding of human nature. His seminal text Obedience to Authority (1974) explores and analyzes his experiments along with his findings. The infamous Milgram Experiment examines the fundamental constructs of human nature, such as the motivations that drive us, our relationship with conscience, loyalty, and pain, and our willingness to inflict torture on others.
The Asch Experiment
The Asch conformity experiments were a series of studies published in the 1950s that demonstrated the power of conformity in groups. These are also known as the “Asch Paradigm”.
- Asch (1951) Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments. (05)
- Milgram (1963) Behavioral Study of Obedience (06)
- Carol Tavris Interview with Stanley Migram (07)
- Milgram (1974) Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (08) (09) (10)
- The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (11)
|01||Summary of Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram | Free Audiobook https://youtu.be/xnl2saDGu1Y|
|02||Summary of Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram | Free PDF https://www.quickread.com/book-summary/obedience-to-authority-212|
|03||Milgram Obedience Study https://youtu.be/fCVlI-_4GZQ|
|04||The Asch Experiment https://youtu.be/iRh5qy09nNw|
|05||Asch, S. E. (1951). Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments. In H. Guetzkow (Ed.), Groups, leadership and men; research in human relations (pp. 177–190). Carnegie Press. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1952-00803-001|
|06||MILGRAM S. BEHAVIORAL STUDY OF OBEDIENCE. J Abnorm Psychol. 1963 Oct;67:371-8. doi: 10.1037/h0040525. PMID: 14049516. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/BEHAVIORAL-STUDY-OF-OBEDIENCE.-Milgram/f22a8ab1dd90eea10f797d4e9f4fd46f5d6f4876|
|07||Read Carol Tavris’s interview with Stanley Milgram – PDF – http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/psychtoday/Milgram_Stanley_R.pdf|
|08||Obedience to authority : an experimental view – Stanley Milgram – https://archive.org/details/obediencetoautho0000milg|
|09||Obedience to authority : an experimental view – Stanley Milgram PDF: (many copies by doing a search: https://archive.org/search.php?query=Obedience+to+authority|
|10||Obedience to authority : an experimental view – Stanley Milgram – Download from PDFDrive (login, it’s easier to have a free account) https://www.pdfdrive.com/obedience-to-authority-an-experimental-view-e183878430.html|
|11||The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil https://www.pdfdrive.com/the-lucifer-effect-understanding-how-good-people-turn-evil-e159539038.html|