posts 16 - 28 of 28
ThankYouFive
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 31

Authority over Empathy

Despite the optimistic belief that most people are naturally good and will refuse to do bad things to others if not needed, Milgram’s experiment demonstrates that many human beings are more than willing to hurt other people if it means respecting the wishes of an authority figure. People are often so easily turned to evil acts because it is significantly easier to blindly listen to and follow the orders of an authority figure than to have your own independent thought. This choice is made even easier by the fact that those who defy the wishes of authority figures are often punished. The circumstances of Milgram’s experiments show that many people are willing to go through with killing another person even if there is no threat of punishment. The only thing that would happen if the teachers didn’t continue, according to the researcher present, is that the experiment wouldn’t work. The choice between ruining a science experiment and killing another person should be an easy one, but it is clear that most people would actually choose to kill another person because they were told to.

If we were to examine the perspective of people who did terrible things by order of authority figures, such as in the Holocaust, one potential reason why is self preservation. Many soldiers probably believed that if they refused to comply with their orders, they themselves would be killed. The problem with such individual logic is that you forget about the feelings of others. If enough Germans refused to round up and kill Jewish people, it is possible that the Nazis would have never been able to kill Jewish people in such massive numbers. Rebellion in such a form is rarely successful when done individually, so those refusing to listen to authority should do it as one united group, not just many individuals.

As Dolphin48 said, the participants in Milgram’s experiments were informed that they would not be held responsible if the learner was seriously injured or killed, which probably led to many participants thinking that they themselves weren’t killing the learner, the researcher was. This fact brings up the possibility that many people don’t actually have a serious problem with doing a bad thing, but they do fear the consequences of their actions. If there isn’t the threat of repercussions, many people will commit terrible acts with only some hesitation.

Unfortunately, I believe that many people in America would willingly work in death camps, and that these people could be found in most towns in America. Combining the information gained from Milgram’s studies with the fact that so many people in America actively threaten others with violence and derogatory language, it is more than reasonable to assume that many Americans would kill other Americans, both willingly and enthusiastically. If such camps were created by the government, even more people would participate because they would most likely not have to face any individual blame.

Do address ilikekiwis’s question, I do not believe that people are inherently bad or inherently good, but humans are willing to comply with authority because they are doing what they believe is best for their own wellbeing, rather than the wellbeing of many others. Most people don’t want to do bad things, but they will do it rather easily if someone with authority is telling them to do it.

My question is, why are some people more inclined than others to obey authority? Why are some people less inclined to do so?

sanandomun
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

Authority

As human beings we all like to believe that we would all do the right thing in situation such as the one Milgram put his subjects in. However, through not only Milgram’s findings that a majority of his subjects continued on with the experiment but also just simply being honest with ourselves, we can see that that’s not really the case. In this case, we can see how our concept of authority can at times have conflict with our own sense of will and/or sense of morality.


I believe that when the man in the video walked into that room to participate in the experiment, he immediately (and probably subconsciously) began to regard the people running the experiment as higher in authority, higher in power than him. Those people have more knowledge on what’s going on than he does. I don’t know whether this is learned as we age or an innate part of human beings, but I think it is hard for most people to defy that kind of authority, even if they know what that authority is telling them to do is harmful, immoral or wrong.


As others have already pointed out, the idea of responsibility comes into play as well. If an authority figure orders a subordinate figure to, say, kill somebody, who is really “responsible” for the death? The authority, or the subordinate who could get in trouble for saying no? But in Milgram’s experiment, the “teacher” really had no consequences waiting for him if he had defied instructions. He did ask, however, whether he would be responsible for anything that happened to the “student”, to which Milgram’s team answered that they would be held responsible, not him. Thus, although reluctantly, he kept giving the student questions. I don’t think he would have continued if they told him that he would be responsible for what happened to the student.


I wish I had a dollar for every time I wrote the word “authority” in this post.


My question: Do you think the teacher in the video we watched in class would have continued the experiment if he was told that he would be held responsible for anything that happened to the student?

Hector_Zeroni
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” ~George Orwell

From the moment we’re born, we’re taught to obey the authority figures in our lives. As a young child, the authority figures in our lives are our parents. Because they are older than us, and presumably wiser than us, we’re taught to not really question their motives all that much. Much like what @razzledazzle8 said, children are punished if they don’t obey the orders that they’re being given. This likely has a huge impact on how obedient we are to authority figures. With the way in which our school system is structured, students aren’t really given many opportunities to challenge their perceptions of the world around them. We’re all programmed to get to school by a certain time period, follow a certain schedule, and go home to do work that was assigned to us during the school day. Oftentimes, we’re left with little opportunities to think for ourselves. Milgram’s experiment concludes that humans are programmed to be obedient and listen to authority figures no matter what they tell you to do.


Humans will be willing to do almost anything simply because they are being told by a higher-up to do this. A few weeks ago, I watched this movie that was released in 2019 and it was called “Hotel Mumbai”. The movie recounts the horrific events that took place in the city of Mumbai on November 26th, 2008 when 10 terrorists from Pakistan attacked multiple locations killing over 100 people and injuring many others. With recordings from phone calls that the terrorists made during the attack, the writers were able to recreate a lot of what happened on that day from the point of view of the terrorists. Something that intrigued me was that the terrorists were taking orders from their higher-ups in Pakistan while carrying out the attacks. Everytime their higher-ups called, they had to pick up the phone, and they would normally order them to do something. For example, the higher-ups would tell them to burn up parts of the Taj Mahal so that the terrorist attack would gain international attention. Without question, the terrorists would do just that. There was one part of the movie where they were told to round up international tourists and hold them hostage. The purpose of this was to hopefully gain leverage later on. The next day, the higher-ups in Pakistan decided that the tourists were no longer useful and they told one of the terrorists to kill them all. Before that happens, that terrorist calls his parents in Pakistan asking if any money has been sent to them. He learns that no money has been sent to them. After the phone call ends, he begins killing the hostages. When he tries to shoot the last hostage, the hostage recites a prayer in Arabic. The terrorist tells his higher-ups that the last hostage is Muslim and he questions whether he shoudl kill the final hostage or not. The higher-ups insist on doing so saying that it will guarantee that he’ll be with Allah in paradise. He decides to leave the hostage alive and walks away only to be killed by the police.


I bring the movie up because I believe that as long as authority figures hold some sort of leverage over us, we likely won’t question whatever it is they want us to do for them. The terrorist was fine killing people and doing other things that go against his religion as long as his family received the money they were being owed. When the terrorist realized that they weren’t being given the money, it’s probably the moment where he realizes that he shouldn’t have done any of this. I think that is the moment that leads him to question what he is doing right before he dies by the hands of the police. In the case of Milgrim’s experiment, the teacher was told that the authority figures would take full responsibility for what happens to the person being tested. This is likely what causes him to continue because it doesn’t have to fall upon his moral consciousness.


This leads me to answering the question @sanandomun told which is, “Do you think the teacher in the video we watched in class would have continued the experiment if he was told that he would be held responsible for anything that happened to the student?” I believe that the teacher wouldn’t have continued the experiment if he was told that he would be held accountable for what happens to the student. He likely would have stopped after he stopped hearing anything coming from the student.


My question: Is there anything that can be done so that we don’t just blindly follow authority? If so, what can we do?

alberic25
boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

We are taught from a young age to follow what parents and authority figures tell us. We have an inherent trust in those who are above us in any way. For example, if we doubted everything our teachers taught us we wouldn’t learn anything. However, our teachers could be teaching us completely wrong information and we would just believe it’s correct because of this trust we have in them. It’s their responsibility to be teaching us the right information. Like stated by @sanandomun the responsibility wasn’t placed on the “teacher” in the situation, it was placed on the person with higher authority, who was holding the experiment. This is the same thing, they are being told information with nothing really being held over them legally. However, you would think that morally they would hold themselves accountable. This is why I was so surprised by the outcome of the experiment. You could tell that the man in the video was distressed and disturbed by what was going on, however he didn’t really do anything himself. There was nothing that was holding him down except the orders of the experiment leader.


How far can this authority power be pushed? We’ll their is no clear answer to this question however it is prominent throughout history that it can definitely be pushed pretty far. We like to think that we are in complete control of our actions but are we really. Theres an idea of free will that has been discussed and I think this can relate to it. How much control do we REALLY have over our actions? If 65% of people were willing to just let a man die for an experiment just because they were being told to they are definitely just giving up all their will power and just listening to a man that they dont even know. This brings me back to the inherent trust idea and that the participants just thought they had to trust the authority figure here because they obviously knew best. However, how would they “know best” if they would let someone get hurt or even die from the experiment? Why would we just trust someone who is so willing to hurt someone?


Bringing the experiment into the real world it definitely represents present day politics. There are so many lies that our leaders tell us, however we blindly believe them until someone tells us they’re wrong. If no one ever doubted what a politician said, we would just be filled with lies. However, these politicians just get away with lying and the majority of people will never even know they’re lying. This is because of the trust we have for our authority figures. Especially when we idolize them and think of them as the perfect people, which is something a lot of people do around politicians.


To answer sanandomun’s question I would go to say that I do believe the “teacher” would’ve stopped if the responsibility was placed on him. This changes the whole experiment completely because it places different stresses and pressures on the person. Instead of being able to think that he was the victim in the situation, being told what to do, he would be part of the “bad guys”.

The question I have is : What would happen if we didn't trust those in authority/ above us?

Regina_Phalange
Boston, Massachussetts
Posts: 27

people trust authority

Our society has established a system in which people rely heavily on their authority figures. At home, we trust that our parents are telling us the truth and that they are guiding us with good intentions. We are supposed to listen to our parents because they are ‘older and wiser’ The same goes for our trust in people who we deem as more knowledgeable, such as a doctor. If a doctor told you to take medication, you’d probably do it because they went to medical school and you didn’t. Therefore, while I was shocked by the results of Milgram’s experiment that 65% of participants shocked the learner with 450 volts, I understand why they did it.

In this experiment, the Teacher was under the authority of the experimenter. While the Teacher had every ability to stop what they were doing, even though the learner was screaming in pain and even stopped responding, the fact that the experimenter was taking full responsibility made the teacher continue. Because they felt unattached from the pain they were inflicting, they kept doing it. Even though morally, the teacher knew it was wrong, they felt like they had a pass because the experimenter said he wouldn’t be at fault. Therefore, when there is an authority in charge, people will be more okay with inflicting torture on others. Additionally, I think it explains why people in big groups are able to act violently or go against norms. Because they feel covered by the fact that there are others to blame as well, people are more likely to go along.

This is demonstrated today by Trump supporters who use Trump’s words and actions to defend themselves when disrespecting others. If they say or do racist things, they deem it as acceptable because their presidential authority will be blamed for it, and he has deemed their actions favorable to him. alberic25 gave the example that people blindly trust politicians until it’s proven that they are lying. I completely agree, because when the trusted politicians are vaccinating themselves with the Covid vaccines, many people are persuaded to do the same. In general, since regular citizens aren’t actively in the government, there are things we don’t know unless the government tells us, so we wouldn’t have anything else to believe if we don’t have access to government information.

To answer alberic25’s question, “what would happen if we didn't trust authority figures?” I believe that there is a difference between having government distrust and just not trusting any authority figures. I think right now we have government distrust which is causing many people to feel negatively about the country and even become angry with the government, but then that energy can be invested in protests and voting practices to improve the system. I think that by not trusting any authority figures in general, the country couldn't function because no authority figure would have any support, and therefore, no laws could be passed to improve the country since no one would trust the government enough to be involved in it.

My question is: Do you think that with the knowledge of this experiment, we/anyone with this knowledge would be less likely to go along with authority?

soleilmagic
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

Would you?

I personally learned about the Milgram Experiment in 9th grade (along with the Asch experiment and the Stanford Prison experiment) and each year following, Of course the experiment was conducted many years ago so the technicalities of it would not be allowed in societal experiments today but the findings of this experiment are very important. It shows a lot about human behavior and response to authority, it demonstrates that ordinary people are capable of doing startling things out of obedience to someone. Surprisingly only 65% of the volunteers (‘teachers’) gave the full 450 volts. And Milgram himself believed that, “It is psychologically easy to ignore responsibility when one is only an intermediate link in a chain of evil action but is far from the final consequences of the action. … No one man decides to carry out the evil act and is confronted with his consequences. The person who assumes full responsibility for the act has evaporated. Perhaps this is the most common characteristic of socially organized evil in modern society. (Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority New York, 1974)”.

We all would like to believe that we would do the right thing in that situation, but from the results it is widely plausible that peer pressure and obedience are huge factors. The fact that someone who knows the correct answer will change their answer to a wrong one just to go along with the group, as shown in the Asch experiment, is bizarre but that is the reality of society.

In response to @ Regina_Phalange; I think that if we were in a similar situation as to the experiment, with this knowledge we would be less likely to go along with authoritarianism.

My question is; After what we have seen, is free will as ‘free’ as we think it to be?

Facinghistorystudent
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Fear as Motivation

People have the tendency to say more good than do more good. In situations where people are being oppressed or mistreated, everyone likes to say they would step in instead of just being a bystander, but is that always the truth? In Milgram’s case study, he studied how far humans will go when instructed to do something that is not completely ethical. He changed the scenarios multiple times to see how they would react under certain circumstances, but the overall results were that the average human is capable of more damage when they are seeking approval of others.

Humans feed off of getting the approval of others. This is seen even from a young age. Kids like to get stickers on their tests if they get a good grade, and adults like to get promotions in work if they are successful in their jobs. We know that much is human nature, but to what extent people will go is the question. In response to razzeldazzel8, people also are motivated off fear. If they think they might get in trouble for not doing something, they are more likely to do it, so that they are not punished. This was an interesting point because it comes across that humans' real motive for anything is fear.

On to the point of Milgram’s final words: “one would be able to find sufficient personnel for these camps in any medium-sized American town.” I agree with this to the extent that the average person can be manipulated into doing things by fear, but I do not agree that as many current day americans could be pushed to that extreme.

With that, I pose the question, Is the only form of human motivation fear?

beantown9
WEST ROXBURY, MA, US
Posts: 23

power of authority

often in our society, we see people say things that are easier said than done. People say more good rather than doing more good a lot. This is especially in situations where people are mistreated or even oppressed, where everyone wants to be the good guy and step in to be an upstander but that's not always true. Often people can get afraid to say something and rather than stepping in and being an upstander, they're a bystander who just watches. Milgrim's case study showed how far people will go when they're told to do something that isn't really right and is morally wrong. Even in different scenarios that he tried out multiple times, the overall results that he got were that an average human, when they are asking for the approval of others, can obtain more damage. In our society, humans enjoy getting the approval of others. In Milgrim's case study, i think most of the people did not stop because they felt pressured to or were afraid to. When people are told what to do by something who they think has authority over them, they can feel pressured to step in and stop whoever is telling them what to do. His case study showed most people feel this way even though they weren't strapped to the chair and could've got up, they stayed in and didn't stop Milgrim or say anything even though it's dangerous and could led to someone getting seriously hurt.

HCK6614JD
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Motivation from Pleasure

Milgram’s experiment demonstrates the psychology behind human behavior and people’s obedience to authority. It also shows the power of authoritative presence and the power behind simple words. People are more susceptible to complying with commands when authority figures are in the same place or room as them. From early on, kids learn to behave and act orderly when there is an adult, the authority figure in this case, in the room. Once the adult leaves, all hell lets loose in the room. The kids will fight, run around, throw things, scream--all things they wouldn’t do if there was an adult to manage them in the room. The same thing can apply to the Milgram experiment. There was an authority figure present while the teacher was following through with the experiment the entire time-- in some experiments, there were even two present. This applied pressure to the teacher because they’re under constant watch. If they did something wrong or did not comply, something bad would happen to them. If the authority figure stepped outside and it was just the teacher and the learner alone, the teacher’s sense of morality would’ve stopped them from continuing the experiment further and they could’ve left the room and checked on the listener. A major physical and psychological obstacle was the authority figure in the room. With the authority figure in the room, the teacher had to ask before they made any decisions outside of pulling down the switch. The teacher in the video asked several times whether he could stop with the experiment to which the authority figure in the room replied with a negative. Repeated negatives was all it took for the teacher to finish till the end of the experiment.

Agreeing with @Facinghistorystudent, humans are motivated to perform certain actions out of fear, but I can also see another element playing a role in their motives. To answer their question of whether fear is the only form of human motivation or not, I think it isn’t. Humans are also motivated by pleasures and the benefits that they’ll get out of something. The Milgram experiment wasn’t done without incentives. Volunteers who sign themselves up for this so-called educational experiment would be given $4.50 by the end of the experiment. Regardless of what they’re told before the experiment actually took place, all that would be thrown away because of the intensity of what they’re told to do. It’s very likely that some volunteers think that if they stopped complying with the experiment, the money wouldn’t be theirs anymore. Therefore they continue, either for the pleasure of earning money by pulling a few switches or because they can’t stop obeying authority.

Regarding Milgram’s 1979 CBS interview, would we “be able to find sufficient personnel…in any medium-sized American town”? I believe we would not be able to find sufficient personnel because Americans aren’t the same as they were fourty years ago. Current day Americans will be more likely to question authority and refuse to cooperate when faced with such unethical and demoralizing choices.

A lingering question I have is to what extent would a person go when motivated by pleasures rather than fear? Would the statistics of Milgram’s experiments change at all, or drastically, if the incentive was increased to a higher amount, let's say, $10?

coral27
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 25

Responsible Young Adults

One conclusion I drew from the Milgram experiment was that it isn’t very hard to activate evil in a person. As humans, I think a capacity for both good and evil is in pretty much everyone. But how can people be made to act in ways that are clearly immoral and deemed unacceptable? In the experiment, it wasn’t money. How many people you know would say they would be willing to kill someone for $10? How about for free, since the test subjects had already been paid? They weren’t afraid of anything besides authority.

As many others have said, I think authority is key. As @Regina_Phalange described, we are presented with authority every day and expected to follow it. Sometimes there are real consequences, sometimes the only consequence is disapproval. I’m sure I’m not the only Latin student who experiences anguish when I get so much as a hint of disapproval from a teacher I like...What must the test subjects have been thinking when an official, authoritative man in a lab coat firmly told them what to do? Even if it meant killing someone?

Another key issue here is responsibility. As we saw in the video, one turning point was when the man learned who would be held responsible for any harm done on the “learner.” His name would not be legally attached to any wrongdoing, so he was willing to keep going. But what about morally? Surely he would have been responsible? The Milgram experiment showed us that many, if not most, people would not see themselves as responsible because of what someone told them, or not care about being responsible.

This reminded me of something I vaguely remembered having read about that I wasn’t even sure was true. I did some searching and found an article about “Rhythm 0,” a 1974 piece of performance art. A woman stood in public with a table of 72 objects and instructions that said she took full responsibility for anything done to her. People ended up hurting her. I think what this shows is that people won’t just inflict pain on someone in the other room; they are capable of directly hurting or killing someone just because they are not held responsible.

I agree with the interview quote. The experiment showed that Americans too are dangerously obedient. The Germans are not “distinctively evil,” like the Aeon article said. It may surprise us, but we can’t ignore the findings of the experiment because of what we would like to believe about ourselves.

I think that today, this experiment helps to explain a lot of things, big and small. We see our respect for authority in our everyday lives, like how we act in the classroom with and without a teacher present. The reason for my title is that we always hear the phrase, “responsible young adults.” I think it’s kind of funny. Are we really that responsible? But in a broader sense, I think it explains how we get trapped in political echo chambers. Once we trust someone as an authority, anything they say goes. When Trump questioned the election, a bunch of people went along with it and pounded on the doors of buildings where votes were being counted. Because he was their authority, he had the power to instruct them. And they saw the other side as the people blindly going along with authority, the “fake news media.”

@HCK6614JD, I disagree with what you said about pleasure vs. pain in the experiment. If I remember correctly, what they did wasn’t incentivized, they had already gotten the money. Maybe you’re right that they could have thought it would be thrown out, but I think “because they can’t stop obeying authority” would be more accurate. To respond to your question, I think this comes down to the “carrot vs the stick.” I think authority was enough of a stick/carrot (however you think about it). I don’t think the results would have been drastically different with a $10 prize. I think the people who stopped anyway would not have been less upset with $10, because they had to be pretty upset to stop, as we saw with the man who was really concerned and still went all the way.

One lingering question I have is, what do you think about the fact that this experiment wouldn’t be allowed today? Were the significant findings worth how it was done in a way that would be deemed “unethical” today?

dailychristmascountdown
Posts: 23

Conformity and Authority

Milgram’s experiments demonstrate that humans often will obey authority even if their better judgement tells them not to. Humans find it hard to “break the norm” of their environment, even if they also have been conditioned to know what “right” and “wrong” is.


In the Asch Conformity Experiments, we can see how humans so want to fit in with the rest of the group, and either doubt their own knowledge or put down their own beliefs because they are scared of ridicule. People today might not get involved in something they support, for example, protests for Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ+ parades because they are worried about what their community might think about them. I also like @Bumblebee’s comparison to the Trump administration. Someone in power can do so many outlandish things, and at the beginning we would think that this was just a ridiculous joke that could never last four years. Nevertheless, with enough “followers”, people who really believe in Trump, in addition to his power, even those who object to his ideals will listen to him. When an order is from someone in high enough power, humans are willing and capable of doing anything. And they will do this because of fear of punishment or ridicule.


I agree with @PatrickStar36 in that “Humans are willing to do almost anything as long as it is socially acceptable.” I think that this covers Milgram’s findings that if something has no consequences, and is therefore “socially acceptable”, then no morals will necessarily stop a person from doing it. This was shown in the Stanford Prison Experiment, when students were asked to play as prisoners and guards for two weeks until the experiment had to be shut down after six days because of the unanticipated violence. Humans are willing and capable of doing anything when they are told that they are not responsible for that action.


I think there is also something in American society that has conditioned us to listen without question to authority. This is similar to the “teacher” in the video we watched in class. He kept saying that this was not right that the man was in pain or stopped making noises because he felt he had to listen to the researcher in authority and not mess up the experiment. I think in America, the quote from Milgram that we would “be able to find sufficient personnel…in any medium-sized American town” to work in Nazi-like death camps, is accurate, just in seeing how many unquestioning authority-conforming Trump supporters there are and how unwilling people are to counter those in power.


This makes me wonder, if Milgram had continued to do his experiment in other countries and cultures, as he had first hoped to with Germans, do you think there would be significant differences?


To answer @coral27’s question, I interned in a research lab before, and after having done training to understand how dangerous unethical experiments can be, I believe that Milgram’s experiment, while still extremely significant, would not be exempt from today’s standard for ethical practices just because of its prospect for significant results. I don’t know how much Milgram’s experiment changed society in the 60s and if it really was maybe just shock tactics. The closest experiment to Milgram’s that would not possibly damage the test subjects would be something like the Asch Conformity Experiments.

._____________.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

The Status Quo

I think this study doesn't show that people are naturally subservient to others of higher power but I more like to imagine it shows that people like to maintain the status quo when they are the one's in power. I think this is especially true when someone is not able to put into question or have the person question themselves on whether they should be doing what they're doing. Because the teacher was in a position of power over the learner they ended up wanting to keep it that way, whether it was so they wouldn't end up in the situation the learner was put in or whatever else they did not want to give up their position of power to someone else, thus keeping the status quo. Because the teacher was able to stay comfortable they wanted to keep the situation that way and when not even given a face to show someone is actually causing pain it becomes even more prevalent for him to keep the situation the same. I also believe the lack of questioning given to the teacher also causes him to keep the status quo if he was even given something like a mirror in the room I believe there would be a decrease in the amount of people who followed through. There's also the fact that the "learner" is actually the one who is messing up, because the teacher isn't actually doing anything wrong objectively that puts the learner in the wrong and makes the blame shift towards him rather than the teacher in the teacher's eyes.

lavagirl
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

a lack of empathy

In my opinion, Milgram’s experiments really show how common a lack of empathy really is in our society. This experiment helps explain the types of behavior seen not only in history but in our own times, as well, because so many people are not willing to stand up for the right thing. For example, so many people are willing to overlook the problem of police brutality in our country because it does not affect them directly. This reminds me of a conversation that I had with my aunt last June during the Black Lives Matter protests. She was driving into the city for a doctor’s appointment but protesters were blocking traffic. She complained about it and said that she understood where they were coming from, but they were overreacting and were just causing an unnecessary disruption since she had nothing to do with what happened. Even after trying to reason with her, she couldn’t step outside of her own life experience and at least try to understand the hurt, trauma, and frustration that these people are going through. To her, it was just all about the blocking of traffic since that is what affected her directly. It never crossed her mind that these people were not doing anything to spite her specifically, they were frustrated that yet another life had been lost at the hands of the police for no reason other than the color of his skin. Another example of something like this is I have another family member who was very against Obamacare and thought of it as some type of socialist propaganda. Now, he has cancer and has Obamacare. It took for him to be in that position where Obamacare was his only option for him to finally support it. There are so few people who are willing to overlook other people’s experiences simply because it does not directly affect them.

Milgram’s experiment really proved how little people tend to think for themselves and how their morals tend to go out the window when they have even the smallest bit of pressure from an authority figure. Humans are conditioned to not question authority. That man in the video had the option to opt out of the experiment at any time and he had the option to go check on the man who was being shocked. But he didn’t. He felt bad about but wasn’t proactive about the situation, which resulted in the other man continuing to get hurt even more. That video and the results that were posted on Google Classroom show that the majority of people would rather be bystanders than upstanders.

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