A Study in Psychology: Stanley Milgram’s Obedience

In the 1960’s, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a study considered to be essential to the field of social psychology. Resulting from the study was the film Obedience, which includes footage from the experiment. The film is summarized as:

“Considered one of the most famous experimental studies in psychology of all time, Obedience focuses on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. Conceived in the wake of the World War II criminal trial of Adolph Eichmann, who ordered the deaths of millions of Jews, the experiment was designed to explore how far people would go when under the instruction of an authority figure. Based on footage shot at Yale University, subjects were told to administer electric shocks of increasing severity to another person. Sixty-five percent of participants administered the experiment’s final massive 450-volt shock. Fifty years later, this experiment still resonates as people ask themselves, “Would I pull that lethal switch?””

The film is currently required to be viewed for some psychology courses on campus, and a DVD of the film is on reserve at the library. For added accessibility, the film is now also available to the MVCC community as a streaming video, accessible via the internet.

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