Milgram's experiment over waarom mensen mensen martelen

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Bijlage 2 bij brief aan mijn huisars: Milgram's experiment over het martelen van mensen door mensen. De tekst die ik citeer, wordt geciteerd uit de inleiding psychologie die voor alle 1e jaars psychologie aan de UvA verplichte tentamen-lectuur was.

Het betreffende experiment (in feite een serie experimenten, later ook herhaald door andere psychologen, waaronder P. Zimbardo) is een van de meest bekende experimenten uit de psychologie.


"A more recent and controversial series of studies on compliance has been reported by Milgram (...). In these studies, the experimenter required each subject to deliver a series of increasingly powerful electric shocks to another subject (the "learner") whenever te latter made an error while engaged in a learning task. The learner (who in fact was a confederate of the experimenter and did not actually receive any shocks) was strapped in a chair in an adjacent room and could be heard protesting as the "shocks" became more intense. As they got stronger, he began to shout and curse; at 300 volts he began to kick the wall; and at the next shock level (marked "extreme intensity shock" on the subject's apparatus panel) the learner no longer answered nor made any noise at all. The last shock in the series was marked 450 volts. As you would expect, subjects began to protest to the experimenter during ths excruciating procedure,pleading with him to call a halt. But the experimenter continued to push by saying tyhings like "please go on" or "the experiment requires that you continue".

In the basis experiment, 65 percent of the subjects continued to obey throughout the experiment, continuing to the end of the shock series (...). No subject stopped prior to administering 300 volts - the point at which the learner began kicking the wall. Milgram concludes that obedience to authority is a strong force in our society, since the majority of his subjects obeyed the experimenter even though they thought they were hurting another person.

Variations on the Milgram experiment show that the obedience rated drops significantly if (1) the subject is brought closer to the learner or put into the same with him when the shocks are administered, (2) the experiment is conducted in a run-down suite of offices not connected to a prestigious university as in the original experiment, and (3) the subject is made to feel more personally responsible for his behavior. The last factor is important." (p. 552 - 3)

"But perhaps the most important lesson of the (...) Milgram studies is not to be found in the results, but in OUR SURPRISE at them. Every year in is social psychology class, one psychologist asks students to predict whether they would continue to administer the shocks in the Milgram situation after the "learner" begins to pound on the wall. About 99 percent of the students say they would not (...). Milgram himself surveyed psychiatrists at a leading medical school; they predicted that most subjects would refuse to go on after reaching 150 volts, that only about 4 percent would go beyond 300 volts, and that fewer than 1 percent would go all the way to 450 volts." (p.554)


Colofon:

Geciteerd naar "Introduction to Psychology - Hilgard & Atkinson", een boek dat gebruikt werd aan de UvA om alle 1e-jaars psychologie te introduceren bij de wetenschap der psychologie.

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Maartens@xs4all.nl