The Social Engineering Solution to the Murder in the Milgram Experiment

Tarnow, Dr. Eugen (2005) The Social Engineering Solution to the Murder in the Milgram Experiment. [Preprint]

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Society's power to make us obey allows for peaceful existence, economic prosperity and efficiency but it also amplifies faulty decisions to become catastrophic. In 1963 Stanley Milgram showed that the vast majority of humans exhibit excessively obedient behavior in presence of an authority and can easily be made to encourage or tolerate real torture and murder. In this advocacy paper, the overdue issue of how to limit excessive obedience is addressed. Eliminating the Milgram Prediction Error – i.e. the discrepancy between what we think we will do and what we actually do in situations of authority is stressed. Barriers and dynamics in our society that keep us from breaking and even enforce our habit to obey excessively are discussed. For example, society does not know what the strong situations are and therefore cannot put up a defense against them; the law does not punish excessively obedient behavior and the teaching of ethics is hampered by illusions of its efficiency. A sketch of a solution to the problem of excessive obedience is made involving experiential training, mappings of authority fields, rules and strong situations, and policy changes.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:obedience, milgram, conformity
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:4894
Deposited By: Tarnow, Dr. Eugen
Deposited On:30 May 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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