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Friday, September 26, 2014

Did We Interpret the Milgram Study Incorrectly?

Famous Milgram 'electric shocks' experiment drew wrong conclusions about evil, say psychologists

By Adam Sherwin
The Independent
Originally published September 5, 2014

Here are two excerpts:

Now psychologists have found that the study, which showed how ordinary people will inflict extraordinary harm upon others, if someone in authority gives the orders, may have been completely misunderstood.

Instead of a latent capacity for evil, we just want to feel good about ourselves. And it is Professor Stanley Milgram’s skill as a “dramatist” which led us to believe otherwise.


Far from being distressed by the experience, the researchers found that most volunteers said they were very happy to have participated.

Professor Haslam said: “It appears from this feedback that the main reason participants weren’t distressed is that they did not think they had done anything wrong.  This was largely due to Milgram’s ability to convince them that they had made an important contribution to science.”

The entire article is here.