Vadim Petrovsky read for us the book of Stanley Milgram «submission to authority»

«Hair on end». I foresee such a reaction of the reader of this book. No, not because the author scares showdowns in the criminal world or the atrocities of maniacs. It’s about psychological experiments with healthy, ordinary, quite decent people.

We rarely think about how obedience we can reach. Imagine, they give you a stun gun and offer to punish someone for errors in solving problems. You will

begin to punish or refuse? Some do not refuse. Milgram experiments used a special device that allows step by step to increase the punishment. If you figure it out, then everything was honest. The subject agreed to participate in the experiment;He knew that he would be punished with the current for errors;They explained to him that psychologists study his abilities for constipation;He is dedicated to the good goals of the experiment. So, the «student» is mistaken – the «teacher» punishes him. With each new error, the experimenter requires increasing the strength of the discharge by 15 volts. And the “teacher” must continue to punish, despite the request to stop, a prayer, screams ..

Of course, the genuine subject – «Teacher». And the purpose of the experiment is to find out to what limit we can reach. Suppose we refused to obey. We can experience moral satisfaction in this case. And if you succumbed to pressure? What lesson can be extracted for life? It only seemed to us that we were free. In fact, you have to fight for your own freedom. “Individuality is defended,” – says my colleague Alexander Asmolov.

The question arises, but who needs to be especially vigilant and do not fall for the bait of «service to science»? There is one whose behavior in the book under a special sight. This is an experimenter. The one who gives orders to continue in a dry voice, despite the protests of the “teacher” and “student”. Take a look at your reactions at its actions. Would like to be in the place of the experimenter forced to obey?

Before the experiment, Milgram asked his colleagues to guess how many “teachers” would increase the voltage until they were stopped (at 450 V). Most psychologists considered that 1-2% will arrive. Sophisticated psychiatrists suggested that no more than 20%. The correct answer is contained in the book. And we will not disclose it in advance. So the book of Milgram is not only about subordination. This is a book about how we know ourselves. And we know «.

Stanley Milgram (1933–1984) – a social psychologist, taught at Yale and Harvard Universities, the author of a series of experiments related to submission;He also investigated the phenomenon of the «Little World» and was one of the authors of the «Rules of the six handshakes».

Translated from English Gleb Yastrebova.
Alpina non-fiction, 282 from.

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