One of the most famous studies of obedience in psychology was carried out by Stanley Milgram (1963). Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience.
“心理服从”最著名的研究由Stanley Milgram进行（1963）。耶鲁大学的心理学家Stanley Milgram，进行了一项实验，着眼于 “服从权威”与 “个人良心”(道德）的关系以及冲突。
He examined justifications for acts of genocide offered by those accused at the World War II, Nuremberg War Criminal trials. Their defense often was based on "obedience" - that they were just following orders from their superiors.
The experiments began in July 1961, a year after the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised the experiment to answer the question:
Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" (Milgram, 1974).
—Milgram (1963) was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person.
A newspaper advertisement was used to recruit 40 men aged 20-50 (volunteer&self selecting). The advertisement was asking for people to take part in a study on memory.
Respondents were from a range of backgrounds and jobs :
—37.5% manual laborers 手工业者
—40% white collar workers 白领
All were from USA.
At the beginning of the experiment they were introduced to another participant——Mr.Wallace, who was actually a confederate of the experimenter
They drew straws to determine their roles – learner or teacher – although this was fixed and participants were always the teacher.
他们用抽签来决定他们的角色——learner or teacher?
Two rooms in the Yale Interaction Laboratory were used - one for the learner (with an electric chair) and another for the teacher and experimenter with an electric shock generator.
耶鲁实验室的两间实验室被使用 — 一间给learner使用，另一间给teacher和实验者使用，还有最重要的实验仪器—电震发生器。
The “learner” (Mr. Wallace) was strapped to a chair with electrodes. After he has learned a list of word pairs given him to learn, the "teacher" tests him by naming a word and asking the learner to recall its partner/pair from a list of four possible choices.
The teacher is told to administer an electric shock every time the learner makes a mistake, increasing the level of shock each time. There were 30 switches on the shock generator marked from 15 volts (slight shock) to 450 (danger – severe shock).
The learner gave mainly wrong answers (on purpose) and for each of these the teacher gave him an electric shock.
When the teacher refused to administer a shock the experimenter was to give a series of orders / prods to ensure they continued.
There were 4 prods and if one was not obeyed then the experimenter (Mr. Williams) read out the next prod, and so on.
Prod 1: Please continue.
Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue.
Prod 3: It is absolutely essential that you continue.
Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.
65% (two-thirds) of participants (i.e. teachers) continued to the highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts.
1、People are much more obedient to destructive orders than we might expect. In fact, the majority of people are quite willing to obey destructive orders.
2、People find receiving and obeying destructive orders highly stressful. They obey in spite of their emotional responses. The situation triggers a conflict between two deeply ingrained tendencies: to obey those in authority, and not to harm people.