Obedience to Authority

Obedience to Authority

An Experimental View

Paperback - 2009
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"The classic account of the human tendency to follow orders, no matter who they hurt or what their consequences." -- Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

In the 1960s Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram famously carried out a series of experiments that forever changed our perceptions of morality and free will. The subjects--or "teachers"--were instructed to administer electroshocks to a human "learner," with the shocks becoming progressively more powerful and painful. Controversial but now strongly vindicated by the scientific community, these experiments attempted to determine to what extent people will obey orders from authority figures regardless of consequences. "Milgram's experiments on obedience have made us more aware of the dangers of uncritically accepting authority," wrote Peter Singer in the New York Times Book Review. Featuring a new introduction from Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, Obedience to Authority is Milgram's fascinating and troubling chronicle of his classic study and a vivid and persuasive explanation of his conclusions.

Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial Modern Thought, 2009.
Edition: First Harper Perennial Modern Thought edition.
ISBN: 9780061765216
Branch Call Number: 303.36
Characteristics: xxv, 224 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Aug 31, 2017

A book that details one of the major social experiments of the last century, "Obedience to Authority" documents the reasons of why human beings can adopt (or adapt) certain behaviours that are unthinkable when acting on their own way but executed without hesitation when following orders. Milligram basically concludes that “the essence of obedience consists on the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another's person wishes, and he therefore no longer regards himself as responsible for his actions.”

An essential book to understand many of the atrocities and calamities of the human being and why our species, as animals, can act as such when our mind and internal models are hijacked by an authority or an ideology.


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