Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram

Your relationship with government is simple: government knows everything about you, and you know nothing about government. In practice this means government can do whatever it wants to you before you know it's going to happen. Government policy makers think this is a good way of ensuring citizen compliance. Thus, all of these investigations are retrospective -- they look back at the squirrely shit that government has pulled, and occasionally wring their hands about trying to avoid it happening in the future. Not inspiring reading, but necessary if you are to face the cold reality that Big Brother is more than watching.

Re: Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:49 pm

Appendix II: Patterns Among Individuals

To broaden our understanding of why some people obey and others defy the experimenter, a number of individual tests were given to the subjects. To see whether obedient and disobedient subjects differ in their concept of responsibility, subjects in the first four experimental conditions were exposed to a "responsibility clock." This consisted of a disk which the subject could divide into three segments by means of movable rods rotating from the center. The subject, after performing in the experiment, was asked to "cut slices of pie" proportional to the responsibility of the three participants in the experiment (experimenter, subject, and victim). We asked, "How much is each of us responsible for the fact that this person was given electric shocks against his will?" The experimenter read off the results directly on the back of the disk, which is graduated in the manner of a 360-degree protractor.

On the whole, subjects did not have very much difficulty performing the task. And the results for 118 subjects for whom the test was given are shown in Table 9.

Table 9. Assignment of Responsibility by Defiant and Obedient Subjects


The major finding is that the defiant subjects see themselves as principally responsible for the suffering of the learner, assigning 48 percent of the total responsibility to themselves and 39 percent to the experimenter. The balance tips slightly for the obedient subjects, who do not see themselves as any more responsible than the experimenter, and indeed, are willing to accept slightly less of the responsibility. A larger difference occurs in assigning responsibility to the learner. The obedient subjects assign him about twice as large a share of the responsibility for his own suffering as do the defiant subjects. When questioned on this matter, they point to the fact that he volunteered for the experiment and did not learn very efficiently.

Thus, the defiant subjects, more often than obedient subjects, attribute primary responsibility to themselves. And they attribute less responsibility to the learner. Of course, these measures were obtained after the subject's performance, and we do not know if they constitute enduring predispositions of the obedient and defiant subjects, or whether they were post facto adjustments of thought.

Fig. 20. Responsibility clock

Dr. Alan Elms administered a number of psychological tests to about twenty obedient and twenty defiant subjects who had performed in the proximity series. His major finding is that there was a relationship between obedience in the experiment and score on the F scale. This is a scale developed by Adorno and his associates to measure fascistic tendencies (1950), and Elms found that those subjects who had obeyed showed a greater degree of authoritarianism (a higher F score) than those who refused to obey. Offhand, this sounds somewhat tautological but Elms explains:

The relationship between obedience and some elements of authoritarianism seems fairly strong; and it should be remembered that the measure of obedience is a measure of actual submission to authority, not just what a person says he's likely to do. Too much of the research on authoritarianism ... has been on the level of paper-and-pencil responses, which don't necessarily get translated into behavior. But here we have people either obeying or refusing the demands of authority, in a realistic and highly disturbing situation.... So it does look as if those researchers in the late 40's had something, something which can be translated from abstract tendencies into actual authoritarian behavior: submitting to the man in command, punishing the weaker subordinate. (page 133) (A. C. Elms, Social Psychology and Social Relevance, 1972)

The relationship between the measure on the F scale and performance in the experiment, although suggestive, is not very strong, owing in part, I think, to the imperfection of paper-and-pencil measuring devices. It is hard to relate performance to personality because we really do not know very much about how to measure personality.

Still another effort to find correlates of obedience was undertaken by Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg, a colleague of mine at Yale University. Dr. Kohlberg had developed a scale of moral development, which is based on the theory that individuals pass through a number of stages of moral judgment as they mature. Using a group of 34 Yale undergraduates who had served in pilot studies, he found that those who broke off were at a higher level of moral development than those who remained obedient. Again, the findings are suggestive, though not very strong (Kohlberg, 1965).

I had also collected background information on subjects immediately after participation in the experiment. The findings, although generally weak, pointed in the following directions. Republicans and Democrats were not significantly different in obedience levels; Catholics were more obedient than Jews or Protestants. The better educated were more defiant than the less well educated. Those in the moral professions of law, medicine, and teaching showed greater defiance than those in the more technical professions, such as engineering and physical science. The longer one's military service, the more obedience -- except that former officers were less obedient than those who served only as enlisted men, regardless of length of service. These were the findings when subjects in the first four experimental conditions (the proximity series) were studied. Many of these findings "washed out" when further experimental conditions were added in, for reasons that were somewhat mysterious to me. (It is true, of course, that the meaning of obedience and disobedience changes from one condition to the next.) My over-all reaction was to wonder at how few correlates there were of obedience and disobedience and how weakly they are related to the observed behavior. 1 am certain that there is a complex personality basis to obedience and disobedience. But I know we have not found it.

In any event it would be a mistake to believe that any single temperamental quality is associated with disobedience, or to make the simpleminded statement that kindly and good persons disobey while those who are cruel do not. There are simply too many points in the processes at hand at which various components of the personality can play complicated roles to allow any oversimplified generalizations. Moreover, the disposition a person brings to the experiment is probably less important a cause of his behavior than most readers assume. For the social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often, it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.
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Re: Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:50 pm


1. Preliminary and regular run. Pretests revealed that the procedure of reading words and administering shocks required some practice before it could be handled smoothly. Therefore, immediately preceding the regular run, the teacher was given a preliminary series of ten words to read to the learner. There were three neutral words in the practice series (i.e., words that the learner answered correctly), so that shocks were administered for seven of the words, with the maximum shock at 105 volts (moderate shock). Almost all subjects mastered the procedure by the time the preliminary run was over.

Subjects are then presented with a second list, and are told that the procedure is the same as for the first list; the experimenter adds, however:

When you get to the bottom of the list, repeat it over again, and continue giving shocks, until the learner has learned all the pairs correctly.

The experimenter instructs the subject to:

Start from 15 volts and increase the shock level one step each time the learner gives a wrong answer.

2. No subject who reached the 30th shock level ever refused to continue using it.

3. David Mark Mantell, "The Potential for Violence in Germany," Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 27, No. 4 (November 4, 1971), pp. 101-12.

4. Within the last decade the effects of physical proximity on behavior have come under critical examination. See, for example, Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension New York: Doubleday, 1966).

5. Recently, I have learned that other experimenters (Sheridan and King, 1972) have replicated the obedience experiments but with this difference: in place of a human victim, they used a genuine victim, a puppy, who actually received the electric shock and who yelped, howled, and ran when he was shocked. Men and women were used as subjects, and the authors found that the women were more compliant than the men. Indeed, they write; "Without exception, females's complied with instructions to shock the puppy all the way to the end of the scale." See also Kilham and Mann, 1972.

6. This is borne out by examining the data on reported nervousness. At the conclusion of his performance, each subject indicated on a scale just how tense or nervous he was at the point of maximum tension. These data are available for twenty-one experimental conditions, including the present one, and obedient women report higher tension than any of the twenty groups of obedient males. This may be due to the fact that the women were more nervous than the men, or simply that they felt freer to report it. In any case, for those women who were obedient, the reported tension exceeded that of any of the twenty other conditions. However, this is not true of the defiant women. Their reports of nervousness fall out just about in the middle of the distribution for male defiant subjects.

7. See study by Hofling et al. on the failure of nurses to question doctors' orders on drug overdoses. Charles K. Hofling, E. Brotzman, S. Dalrymple, N. Graves, C. Pierce, "An Experimental Study in Nurse-Physician Relationships," The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 143, No. 2 (1966), pp. 171-80.

8. The assertion that the content of the command may itself be largely responsible for the effects is not gratuitous. Numerous studies in social psychology demonstrate the effects that peers, lacking any particular authority, may exercise on an individual (Asch, 1951; Milgram, 1964).

9. Conformity is, as de Tocqueville shrewdly observed, the logical regulatory mechanism of democratized relations among men. It is "democratic" in the sense that the pressure it places on the target is not to make him better or worse than those exerting the pressure but merely to make him the same.

Obedience arises out of and perpetuates inequalities in human relationships and thus, in its ultimate expression, is the ideal regulatory mechanism of fascism. It is only logical that a philosophy of government that has human inequality as its touchstone will also elevate obedience as an absolute virtue. Obedient behavior is initiated in the context of a hierarchical social structure and has as its outcome the differentiation of behavior between superior and subordinate. It is no accident that the hallmark of the Third Reich was its emphasis both on the concept of superior and inferior groups and on quick, impressive, and prideful obedience, with clicking boots and the ready execution of command.

10. I have oversimplified. While it is true that nature is rich in hierarchical organizations, it is not the case that men need function within them at all times. An isolated brain cell cannot survive apart from its larger organ system. But an individual's relative self- sufficiency frees him from total dependence on larger social systems. He has the capacity both to merge into such systems, through the assumption of roles, or to separate himself from them. This capacity for dual functioning confers on the species maximum adaptive advantages. It assures the power, security, and efficiency that derives from organization, along with the innovative potential and flexible response of the individual. From the standpoint of species survival it is the best of both worlds.

11. Students of child development have long recognized that "the first social relationship is one of recognizing and complying with the suggestions of authority" (English, 1961, page 24). The initial conditions of total dependency give the child little choice in the matter. And authority generally presents itself to the infant in a benign and helpful form. Nonetheless, it has been commonly observed that at the age of two or three, the infant enters a period of unrestrained negativism in which he challenges authority at virtually every turn, rejecting even its most benign demands. Stogdill (1936) reports that of all behavior problems of social adjustment, parents rank disobedience as the most serious. Frequently, there is intense conflict between child and parent at this point, and maturational processes, abetted by parental insistence, ordinarily bring the child to a more compliant disposition. The child's interminable disobedience, however much it constitutes a rejection of authority and assertion of self, differs from adult disobedience in that it takes place without any conception of individual responsibility on the child's part. Unlike the forms of disobedience we may come to value in the adult, it is an indiscriminate, purely expressive form of defiance that is not grounded in moral concerns.

12. The technical problem of how authority communicates its legitimacy is worth serious thought. Consider that when a young man receives a letter that claims to be from his draft board, what evidence is there that the entire operation is not simply an extended prank? And if we are to carry this further, what is the evidence that when the boy appears at a camp designated by the board, the men in khaki really have the right to take charge of his life? Perhaps it is all a gigantic hoax perpetrated by a contingent of unemployed actors. Genuine authority, because it recognizes the ease with which the appearance of authority may be fabricated, must he extremely vigilant of counterfeit authority, and the penalties for falsely claiming authority are severe.

13. Imagine an experimenter traveling from one house to the next in a private residential district and, with permission, setting up his experiments in the living rooms of those homes. His aura of authority would be weaker without the laboratory setting that ordinarily buttresses his position.

14. For the concept of "zone of indifference," see Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations. New York: The Free Press, 1965.

15. The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk (1952), illustrates this situation well. It is all right for an authority to be stupid. Many persons of authority function exceedingly well even if they are incompetent. The problem arises only when an authority, taking advantage of his position, forces his more competent subordinates to follow a wrong course of action. Stupid authorities can sometimes be very effective and even beloved by their subordinates, as long as they assign responsibility to the talented subordinates. The Caine Mutiny illustrates two additional points. First, how difficult it is to defy authority even when authority is incompetent. Only after great inner stress and turmoil did Willie and Keith take over the Caine, though it was on its way to being sunk because of Queeg's incompetence. Second, despite what appeared to be virtually absolute requirement that the mutiny occur, the attachment to principles of authority was so profound, that the author, through the voice of Greenwald, in a dramatic turn of events, called into question the moral basis of the mutiny.

16. In Group Psychology and Analysis of the Ego (1921), Freud pointed out that a person suppresses his own superego functions, allowing the leader full right to decide what is good or bad.

17. Koestler notes in his brilliant analysis of social hierarchies: "I have repeatedly stressed that the selfish impulses of man constitute a much lesser historic danger than his integrative tendencies. To put it in the simplest way: the individual who indulges in an excess of aggressive self-assertiveness incurs the penalties of society -- he outlaws himself, he contracts out of the hierarchy. The true believer, on the other hand, becomes more closely knit into it; he enters the womb of his church, or party, or whatever the social holon to which he surrenders his identity." Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967), Part III, "Disorder," p. 246.

18. An interpretation consistent with the theory of cognitive dissonance. See L. Festinger, 1957.

19. See Erving Goffman, "Embarrassment and Social Organization," The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 62 (November 1956), pp. 264-71. See also Andre Modigliani, "Embarrassment and Embarrassability," Sociometry, Vol. 31, No. 3 (September 1968), pp. 313-26; and "Embarrassment, Facework, and Eye Contact: Testing a Theory of Embarrassment," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1971), pp. 15-24.

20. If embarrassment and shame are important forces holding the subject to his obedient role, we ought to find a sharp drop in obedience when the preconditions for the experience of these emotions are eliminated. This is precisely what occurred in Experiment 7, when the experimenter departed from the laboratory and gave his orders by telephone. Much of the obedience shown by our subjects was rooted in the face-to-face nature of the social occasion. Some types of obedience -- say, that of a soldier sent on a solitary mission behind enemy lines -- require extended exposure to the authority in question and a congruence between the values of the subordinate and his authority.

Both the studies of Garfinkel and the present experiment indicated that the assumptive structure of social life needed to be disrupted if disobedience was to occur. The same awkwardness, embarrassment, and difficulty in being disobedient occurs as in Garfinkel's (1964) demonstrations, in which people are asked to violate suppositions of everyday life.

21. It is the failure to grasp the transformation into a state of agency and an inadequate understanding of the forces that bind the person into it that account for the almost total inability to predict the behavior in question. Those judging the situation think it is the ordinary person, with his full moral capacities operating, when they predict his break off from the experiment. They do not take into account in the least the fundamental reorganization of a person's mental life that occurs by virtue of entry into an authority system.

The quickest way to correct the erroneous prediction of persons who do not know the outcome of the experiment is to say to them, "The content of the action is not half so important as you think; the relationship among the actors is twice as important. Base your prediction not on what the participants say or do, but on how they relate to each other in terms of a social structure."

There is a further reason why people do not correctly predict the behavior. Society promotes the ideology that an individual's actions stem from his character. This ideology has the pragmatic effect of stimulating people to act as if they alone controlled their behavior. This is, however, a seriously distorted view of the determinants of human action, and does not allow for accurate prediction.

22. Konrad Lorenz describes the disturbance in inhibitory mechanisms brought about by the interposition of tools and weapons: "The same principle applies, to even a greater degree, to the use of modern remote-control weapons. The man who presses the releasing button is so completely screened against seeing. hearing, or otherwise emotionally realizing the consequences of his action that he can commit it with impunity -- even if he is burdened with the power of imagination." Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1966), p. 234.

23. See N. J. Lerner, "Observer's Evaluation of a Victim; Justice, Guilt, and Veridical Perception," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1971), pp. 127-35.

24. In Princeton: D. Rosenhan, Obedience and Rebellion; Observations on the Milgram Three-Party Paradigm. In preparation.

In Munich: D.M. Mantell, "The Potential for Violence in Germany." Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 27, No.4 (1971), pp. 101-12.

In Rome: Leonardo Ancona and Rosetta Pareyson, "Contributo allo studie della aggressione; La Dinamica della obbedienza distruttiva," Archiva di psicologia neurologia e psichiatria, Anna XXIX (1968), fasc. IV.

In Australia: W. Kilham and L. Mann, "Level of Destructive Obedience as a Function of Transmittal' and Executant Roles in the Milgram Obedience Paradigm." In press (1973) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

25. See M. I. Orne and C. C. Holland, for example, and my response to them in: A. G. Miller (ed.) The Social Psychology of Psychological Research. New York; The Free Press, 1972.

26. But we must not be naive on this point. We have all seen how government, with its control of the propaganda apparatus, invariably portrays its goals in morally favorable terms; how, in our own country, the destruction of men, women, and children in Vietnam was justified by reference to saving the Free World, etc. We see, also, how easily the pronouncements are accepted as legitimizing goals. Dictatorships attempt to persuade the masses by justifying their programs in terms of established values. Even Hitler did not say that he would destroy the Jews because of hatred but because of his wish to purify the Aryan race and create a higher civilization free of enfeebling vermin.

27. Bierstedt points out quite correctly that the phenomenon of authority is more fundamental even than that of government: "... The problem of authority rests at the very bottom of an adequate theory of the social structure ... even government, in a sense, is not merely a political phenomenon but primarily and fundamentally a social phenomenon, and ... the matrix from which government springs itself possesses an order and a structure. If anarchy is the contrary of government, so anomy is the contrary of society. Authority, in other words, is by no means a purely political phenomenon in the narrow sense of the word. For it is not only in the political organization of society, but in all of its organization, that authority appears. Each association in society, no matter how small or how temporary it might be, has its own structure of authority." Bierstedt, pp. 68-69.

28. But the plea of "superior orders" was made by Lieutenant William Calley, who commanded the platoon that carried out the action.

The military prosecutor challenged Calley's plea of superior orders. Instructively, the prosecutor did not contest the principle that a soldier must obey orders, but charged that Calley acted without orders, and therefore, was responsible for the massacre. Calley was adjudged guilty.

The reaction of the American public to the Calley trial was studied by Kelman and Lawrence (1972), and their findings are not reassuring. Fifty-one percent of the sample indicated that they would follow orders if commanded to shoot all inhabitants of a Vietnamese village. Kelman concludes:

"Clearly, not everyone finds the demands of apparently legitimate authorities equally compelling. Not all of Milgram's subjects shocked their victims with the highest voltage. Nor did every soldier under Calley's command follow his orders to kill unarmed civilians. Those who resist in such circumstances have apparently managed to retain the framework of personal causation and responsibility that we ordinarily use in daily life.

"Yet, our data suggest that many Americans feel they have no right to resist authoritative demands. They regard Calley's actions at My Lai as normal, even desirable, because (they think) he performed them in obedience to legitimate authority."

We need to ask why Kelman's respondents see themselves as complying with military authority at My Lai (when few-if any- would have predicted submission to the experimenter's authority).

First, the interview response, secured while the country was at war in Vietnam, reflected attitudes toward the war itself and indicated general support for the government's policies. If the questions had been asked in peacetime, a larger proportion would have predicted disobedience. The response also expressed solidarity with an American soldier who most Americans felt should not have been brought to trial. Second, raising the question of obedience in a military context places it in the setting that is most familiar to the average person: he knows that a soldier is supposed to obey orders, and his interview response springs from folk wisdom, hearsay, and knowledge of the military context. Yet, this does not presume any understanding of general principles of obedience, which can only be demonstrated by their correct application to a novel context. People understand that soldiers massacre, but they fail to see that an action such as this, routinely carried out, is the logical outcome of processes that are at work in less visible form throughout organized society. Finally, the response indicates the degree to which the American people had embraced the viewpoint of authority in evaluating the Vietnam War. They had been thoroughly indoctrinated by government propaganda (which, at the societal level, is the means whereby an official definition of the situation is promulgated). In this sense, the respondents to Kelman's question did not reside completely outside the authority system they were asked to comment upon but had already been influenced by it.

29. Henry Wirz, Trial of Henry Wirz (Commandant at Andersonville), House of Representatives, 40th Congress, 2d Session, Ed. Doc. No. 23. (Letter from the Secretary of War Ad Interim, in answer to a resolution of the House of April 16, 1866, transmitting a summary of the trial of Henry Wirz. Dec. 17, 1867 (ordered to be printed).

30. It would seem that the anarchist argument for universal dismantling of political institutions is a powerful solution to the problem of authority. But the problems of anarchism are equally insoluble. First, while the existence of authority sometimes leads to the commission of ruthless and immoral acts, the absence of authority renders one a victim to such acts on the part of others who are better organized. Were the United States to abandon all forms of political authority, the outcome would be entirely clear. We would soon become the victims of our own disorganization, because better organized societies would immediately perceive and act on the opportunities that weakness creates.

Moreover, it would be an oversimplification to present the picture of the noble individual in a continuous struggle against malevolent authority. The obvious truth is that much of his nobility, the very values he brings to bear against malevolent authority, are themselves derived from authority. And for every individual who carries out harsh action because of authority, there is another individual who is restrained from doing so.

31. See Jay Katz, Experimentation With Human Beings: The Authority of the Investigator, Subject, Professions, and State in the Human Experimentation Process, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1972). This source book of 1159 pages contains commentaries on the present experiments by Baumrind, Elms, Kelman, Ring, and Milgram. It also includes the statement of Dr. Faul Errera, who interviewed a number of participants in the experiment (page 400). Thoughtful discussions of the ethical issues of this research can be found in A. Miller, The Social Psychology of Psychological Research, and in A. Elms, Social Psychology and Social Relevance.
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Re: Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:51 pm


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___, "Group Pressure and Action Against a Person." Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, Vol. 69 (1964), pp. 137-43.

___, "Issues in the Study of Obedience: A Reply to Baumrind." American Psychologist, Vol. 19 (1964), pp. 848-52.

___, "Liberating Effects of Group Pressure." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 1 (1965), pp. 127-34.

___, Obedience (a filmed experiment). Distributed by the New York University Film Library. Copyright 1965.

___, "Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority." Human Relations, Vol. 18, No. 1 (1965), pp. 57-76.

___, "Interpreting Obedience: Error and Evidence; A Reply to Orne and Holland." In A. G. Miller (ed.), The Social Psychology of Psychological Research. New York: The Free Press, 1972.

Miller, A. (ed.). The Social Psychology of Psychological Research. New York: The Free Press, 1972.

Miller, N. "Experimental Studies of Conflict." In M. J. Hunt (ed.), Personality and Behavior Disorders. New York: Ronald Press, 1944, pp. 431-65.

Modigliani, A. "Embarrassment and Embarrassability." Sociometry, Vol. 31, No. 3 (September 1968). pp. 313-26.

___, "Embarrassment, Facework, and Eye Contact: Testing a Theory of Embarrassment." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1971), pp.15-24.

Orne, M. T., and Holland, C. C. "On the Ecological Validity of Laboratory Deceptions." International Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 6, No. 4 (1968), pp. 282-93.

Orwell, G. Selected Essays. London: Penguin Books, 1957.

Raven, B. H. "Social Influence and Power." In I.D. Steiner and M. Fishbein (eds.), Current Studies in Social Psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965.

___, and French, J. R. P. "Group Support, Legitimate Power, and Social Influence." Journal of Personality, Vol. 26 (1958), pp. 400-409.

Rescher, N. The Logic of Commands. New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

Rosenhan, D. "Some Origins of Concerns for Others." In P. H. Mussen, J. Langer, and M. Covington (eds.), Trends and Issues in Developmental Psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969, pp. 134-53.

___, Obedience and Rebellion: Observations on the Milgram Three-Party Paradigm. In preparation.

Rosenthal, R., and Rosnow, R. L. "Volunteer Subjects and the Results of Opinion Change Studies." Psychological Reports, Vol. 19 (1966), p. 1183.

Scott, J. P. Aggression. Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1958.

Sheridan, C.L., and King, R. G. "Obedience to Authority with an Authentic Victim." Proceedings, Eightieth Annual Convention, American Psychological Association. 1972, pp. 165-66.

Sherif, M. The Psychology of Social Norms. New York: Harper & Row, 1936.

Shirer, W. L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960.

Sidis, B., The Psychology of Suggestion. New York: Appleton, 1898.

Simon, H. A. Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations. New York: The Free Press, 1965.

Snow, C. P. "Either-Or" Progressive, February 1961, p. 24.

Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by J. J. Chapman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1930.

Stogdill, R. M. "The Measurement of Attitudes Toward Parental Control and the Social Adjustment of Children." Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 20 (1936), 259-67.

Taylor, T. Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1970.

Tinbergen, N. Social Behavior in Animals. London: Butler and Tanner, Ltd., 1953.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and Civil Disobedience. Edited by Sherman Paul. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957.

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. London: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Tolstoy, L. Tolstoy's Writings on Civil Disobedience and Non-violence. New York: New American Library, 1968.

Weber, M. Theory of Social and Economic Organization, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1947.

Wouk, H. The Caine Mutiny. Garden City: Doubleday and Company, 1952.

Other Works Consulted

Adams, J. Stacy, and Romney, A. Kimball "A Functional Analysis of Authority." Pychological Review, Vol. 66, No. 4 (July 1959), pp. 234-51.

Aronfreed, Justin. Conduct and Conscience: The Socialization of Internalized Control over Behavior. New York: Academic Press, 1968.

Berkowitz, Leonard, and Lundy, R. "Personality Characteristics Related to Susceptibility to Influence by Peers or Authority Figures." Journal of Personality, Vol. 25 (1957), pp. 306-16.

Binet, A. La Suggestibilite. Paris: Schleicher, 1900.

Cohn, Norman. Warrant for Genocide. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.

DeGrazia, Sebastian. "What Authority Is Not." The American Political Science Review, Vol. 3 (June 1959).

Eatherly, Claude. Burning Conscience: The Case of the Hiroshima Pilot Told in His Letters to Gunther Anders. New York: Monthy Review Press, 1961.

Elkins, Stanley M. Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1959.

Friedlander, Saul. Kurt Gerstein: The Ambiguity of Good. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969.

Friedrich, C. J. Authority. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958.

Gamson, William, Power and Discontent. Homewood, Ill: The Dorsey Press, 1968.

Gaylin, W. In the Service of Their Country: War Resisters in Prison. New York: The Viking Press, 1970.

Goldhammer, R., and Shils, E. "Types of Power and Status." American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 45 (1939), pp. 171-78.

Gurr, Ted Robert. Why Men Rebel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970.

Hallie, Philip P. The Paradox of Cruelty. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1969.

Hammer, Richard. The Court Martial of Lt. Calley. New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1971.

Heydecker, J. J., and Leeb, J. The Nuremberg Trial. Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company, 1962.

Howton, F. William. Functionaries. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969.

Huntington, Samuel P. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. New York: Vintage Books, 1964.

Lasswell, H. D., and Kaplan, A. Power and Society. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1950.

Lauman, Edward O.; Siegel, Paul M., and Hodge, Robert W. (eds.). The Logic of Social Hierarchies. Chicago: Markham Publishing Co., 1970.

Neuman, Franz. The Democratic and the Authoritarian State: Essays in Political and Legal Theory. Edited by Herbert Marcuse. New York: The Free Press, 1957.

Parsons, T. The Social System. New York: The Free Press, 1951.

Reich, Wilhelm. The Mass Psychology of Fascism. New York: Orgone Institute Press, 1946.

Ring, K., Wallston, K., and Corey, M. "Mode of Debriefing as a Factor Affecting Subjective Reaction to a Milgram-Type Obedience Experiment: An Ethical Inquiry." Representative Research in Social Psychology, Vol. 1 (970), pp. 67-88.

Rokeach, M. "Authority, Authoritarianism, and Conformity." In I. A. Berg and B. M. Bass (eds.), Conformity and Deviation. New York: Harper & Row, 1961, pp. 230-57.

Russell, Bertrand. Authority and the Individual. Boston: Beacon Press, 1949.

Sack, John. Lt. Calley: His Own Story. New York: The Viking Press, 1970.

Speer, Albert. Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs. New York: Macmillan, 1970.

Tilker, H. A. "Socially Responsible Behavior as a Function of Observer Responsibility and Victim Feedback," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 2 (February 1970), pp. 95-100.

Von Mises, Ludwig. Bureaucracy. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1944.

Whyte, L. L., Wilson, A. C., and Wilson, D. (eds.), Hierarchical Structures. New York: American Elsevier Publishing, 1969.

Wolfe, D. M. "Power and Authority in the Family," In D. Cartwright (ed.), Studies in Social Power. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959, pp. 99-117.
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Re: Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram

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Abse, Dannie, 198
Action, in obedience experiment, 89,
90, 149
Administrative Behavior (Simon), 208
Adorno, T., 204
Agentic state, 132-134, 135, 138, 140.
142, 143-148, 155; binding factors
in, 7, 148--152; and commands, 147148;
and "definition of situation, "
145; responsibility lost in, 145-147;
self-image in, 147; and tuning proc
ess, 144; see also Authority; Disobedience;
Hierarchy; Obedience;
Obedience experiment
Aggression, 165-168
Allport, Cordon W., 178
American Journal of Sociology, 209
American Psychologist. 193
Anarchism, 212
Ancona, Leonardo, 210
Antigone (Sophocles), 2
Anxiety, and disobedience, 152
Arendt, Hannah, 5, 6
Asch, S. E., 114, 115, 207
Ashby, W. R., 125; quoted, 127
Attica Penitentiary, 113
Authoritarian state, 179
Authority, 144, 155, 175, 179, 208, 211;
closeness of, 61; coordination of
command with function of, 141-142;
double, see Two Authorities; entry
into system of, 140-141; perception
of, 138-140; see also Agentic state;
Disobedience; Hierarchy; Obedience;
Obedience experiment
Authority as Victim (Experiment 14),
94-95 (table), 99-104, 110
Automata, 126-127, 128, 129, 131, 132;
see also Cybernetics
Autonomy, vs. agentic state, 133
Avoidance, 158

Batta, Bruno, 45-47
Baumrind, Diana, 193, 209, 212
Berkowitz, L., 167
Bettelheim, B., 158
Bierstedt, R., 211
Binding factors, 148
Brandt, Gretchen, 84-85
Braverman, Morris, 52-54
Breakoff points, in obedience experiment,
28, 29 (table), , 32, 40, 57,
60, 61 (table)
Bridgeport, obedience experiment at,
68, 69, 70, 171 (table)
Brotzman, E., 207
Buffers. 156-157, 183
Bureaucracy, destructive, 121, 122
Buss, A. H., 167

Caine Mutiny, The (Wouk), 208-209
Calley, William, 184, 211
Cannon, W. B., 126
Change of Personnel (Experiment 6),
58--59, 60-61 (table), 171 (table)
Closeness of Authority, see Experiment
Cognitive field, denial and narrowing
of, 38
Commands, 146
Conformity: distinguished from obedi
ence, 113-115, 207; as imitation,
114; and voluntarism, 115
Conscience (superego), 127, 128, 129,
132, 146, 165, 209
Control condition, see Experiment 11
Control panel, diagram of, 28
Conversion, 161
Counteranthropomorphism, 8
Crawford, Thomas, quoted, 201
Cybernetics, 125-128, 131, 133; see
also Automata

Dalrymple, S., 207
"Dangers of Obedience, The" (Laski),
Debriefing, 24, 191
Delacroix, Eugene, 113
Democracy, 179, 204
Denial, 158, 173-174
Dicks, H. V., 177; quoted, 177-178
Disobedience, 14, 208; and anxiety,
152; in children, 205; strain ended
by, 157, 162-164; see also Agentic
state; Authority; Hierarchy; Obedience;
Obedience experiment
Dissent, 161
Dogs of Pavlov, The (Abse), 198
Dontz, Karen, 77-79
Double authority, see Two Authorities
Dr. Strangelove (film), 7

Ego ideal, 147; group ideal substituted
for, 131
Eichmann, 5, 6, 11, 54, 178, 186
Eichmann in Jerusalem (Arendt), 5
Elms, Alan, 204, 213; quoted, 203-204
Embarrassment. and obedience, 151,
187, 209
Empathic cues, in obedience experi
ment, 36, 38
English, H. B., 208
Erikson, Milton, quoted, 201
Errera, Paul, 212
Ethics in research, problems of,
Etiquette, 149, 152
Etzioni, Amitai, quoted, 201
Experiment, obedience, see Obedience
Experiment 1 (Remote-Feedback), 32,
35 I table), 36, 38, 39, 171 (table)
Experiment 2 (Voice-Feedback), 2223, 34, 35
(table), 36, 57, 173;
Braverman's behavior in, 52-54;
psychiatrists' predictions of behavior
in, 27, 30, 31; Rensaleers behavior
in, 50--52; and subjects' estimates of
pain felt by victim, 171, 171 (table);
Washington's behavior in, 49-50
Experiment 3 (Proximity), 34, 35
(table), 36, 38, 39; subject's
behavior in, 47-49; and subjects'
estimates of pain felt by victim, 171
(table I
Experiment 4 (Touch-Proximity), 34,
35 (table 1, 36, 39, 188; Batta's
behavior in, 45-47; and subjects'
estimates of pain felt by victim,
171 (table)
Experiment 5 (New Base-Line Con
dition), 55-57, 59, 80-61 (table),
Prozi's behavior in, 73-77; and
subjects' estimates of pain felt by
victim, 171 (table)
Experiment 6 (Change of Personnel),
58-59, 60-61 (table), 171 (table)
Experiment 7 (Closeness of Authority),
59-62, 60-61 (table), 159, 209;
Gino's behavior in, 86-88; and subjects'
estimates of pain felt by
victim, 171 (table)
Experiment 8 (Women as Subjects),
60-61 in (table), 62-63; Brandt's
behavior in, 84-85; Dontz's behavior
in, 77-79; Rosenblum's behavior in,
79-84; and subjects' estimates of
pain felt by victim, 171 (table)
Experiment 9 (Victim's Limited
Contract), 60-61 (table), 63-66;
subject's behavior in, 65--66
Experiment 10 (Institutional Context),
60-61 (table), 66-70
Experiment 11 (Subject Free to Choose
Shock Level), 60-61 (table), 70-72,
Experiment 12 (Learner Demands to
Be Shocked), 90-92, 94-95 (table)
Experiment 13 (Ordinary Man Gives
Orders), 93, 94-95 (table), 96-97
Experiment 13a (Subject as Bystander),
94-95 (table), 97-99
Experiment 14 (Authority as Victim),
94-95 (table), 99-104, 110
Experiment 15 (Two Authorities: Contradictory
Commands), 94-95
(table), 105-107, 110, 111
Experiment 16 (Two Authorities: One
as Victim), 94-95 (table), 107-110,
Experiment 17 (Two Peers Rebel),
116-121; behavior of confederates
in, 117-119; and reactions of naive
subject to defiant peers, 118, 120121;
shocks administered in, 119;
technique for, 116-118, 120-121
Experiment 18 (Peer Administers
Shock), 119 (table), 121-122
Experimentation with Human Beings
(Katz), 211
Explicitness, in obedience, 114-115

F-scale, 201
Family, as antecedent of obedience,
Fascism, 204
Feinberg, I., 63
Festinger, L., 208
Freud. Sigmund, 113, 131, 208

Gandhi, Mahatma, 113
Garfinkel, H., 208
Generalizing from the experiment, 174178
Ghost in the Machine, The (Koestler),
Gino, Pasqual, 86-88
Glasser, R. J., 180
Goffman, Erving, 150, 209
Graves, N., 207
Greece, ancient, 124
Group effects, 113-122
Group formation, 39
Group ideal, substituted for ego ideal,
Group Psychology (Freud), 131, 209

Halberstam, David, 180
Hall, Edward T., 206
"Heart problem, " in obedience experiment,
55, 56, 57
Hidden Dimension, The (Hall), 206
Hierarchy: and obedience, 114, 123125,
128-130, 131; survival value
of, 123-125; see also Agentic state;
Authority; Disobedience; Obedience
Hilberg, R., 187
Hitler, Adolf, 130, 155, 176, 211; see
also Nazism
Hobbes, Thomas, 2
Hofling, Charles K., 207
Holland, C. C., 210
Romans, G. C., 121
Homeostatic model, 126
Hoodlums, predatory, groups of, 121

Imitation, conformity as, 114
Indifference, zone of. 208
Individuals, patterns among, 201-203;
individuals confront authority, 44-54, 73-
Informed Heart, The (Bettelheim), 158
Inhibition, passive, 40
Institutional Context (Experiment 10).
60-61 (table), 66-70
Interaction Laboratory, of Yale University,
16, 55
Internalization of social order, 138
International Journal of Psychiatry,

Jews, and Nazism, 2, 9, 158, 187, 211
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease,
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
209, 210
Journal of Social Issues, 206, 210

Katz, Jay, 212
Kelman, Herbert, 201, 202, 212; quoted,
Kilham, W., 207, 210
King, R. G., ·206
Koestler, Arthur, 209
Kohlberg, Lawrence, 205

Language, modification of, 187
Laski, Harold J., quoted, lS9
Laughter, 52-54
Lawrence, L., 211
Lazarus, R., 193
Learner Demands to Be Shocked
(Experiment 12), 90-92, 94-95
(table )
Legitimacy of authority, how communicated,
Lerner, N. J., 210
Lorenz, Konrad, 210
Lynch mob, 121

Mann, L., 207, 210
Mantell, D. M., 171, 206, 210
Marler, P., 123
Methods, general principles, 13f.;
problems of, 169-178
Miller, Arthur C., 202, 212
Miller, N., 42
Modigliani, Andre, 209
Moral judgment, 6, 153, 155
My Lai massacre, 176, 183, 186, 211

Nazism, 2, 9, 52, 85, 158, 175, 176,
177, 178, 179187; see also Hitler,
New Base-Line Condition, see Experiment
Nuremberg trials, 8, 176

Obedience, 14; and agentic state, see
Agentic state; analysis of, 123-134;
antecedent conditions of, 135-143;
and anxiety, 152; and authority,
perception of, 138-140; binding
factors in, 7, 148-152; conformity
distinguished from, 113-115, 207;
and cybernetic viewpoint, 125-128,
131, 133; and embarrassment, 209;
explicitness in, 114-115; family as
antecedent of, 135-136; and
hierarchy, 114, 123-125, 128-130,
131; ideological justification for, 142;
institutional setting for, 137; and
perception of authority, 138-140;
process of, 135-152; and reward
structure, 137-138; and strain, see
Strain; and variability, 130-132;
and Vietnam War, 180-186, 211, 212;
and voluntarism, 115; see also
Authority; Disobedience; Obedience
Obedience experiment: and acquired
behavior dispositions, 40; action as
element of, 89, 90, 149; and behav
ior dispositions, acquired, 40; breakoff
points in, 28, 29 (table), 32, 40,
57, 60-61 (table); at Bridgeport,
68, 69, 70, 171 (table); criticisms
of, 169-170, 193 If., 196 ff.; empathic
cues in, 36, 38; and experienced
unity of act, 39; experimenter's
role in, 16, 21; feedback from ex
perimenter in, 21; feedback from
victim in, 22-23; in Germany, 171,
207; and group-formation, incipient,
39-40; "heart problem" in, 55, 56,
57; and incipient group-formation,
39-40; and Interaction Laboratory,
16; learning task in, 19-20, 22;
measures in, for subject, 23-24;
method of inquiry in, 13-26; obedience
analysis applied to, 135-152;
participants obtained for, 14-16,
170; position as element of, 89, 90;
procedure in, 17-19; and psychiatrists'
predictions, 27, 30, 31;
reciprocal fields in, 38-39; sample
shock in, 20; and sequential nature
of action, 149; shock generator
used in, 20, 23, 27, 151, 159; shock
instructions in, 20-21; and situational
obligations, 149-152; special prods
in, 21-22; status as element of, 89,
90; and strain, see Strain; subject's
role in, 17-19, 23-24; tension of
subject in, 41-43; unexpected
behavior in, 40-43; victim's role
in, see Victim in obedience experiment;
see also Agentic state;
Authority; Disobedience; Experiments
1-18; Hierarchy; Obedience
On Aggression (Lorenz), 210
Ordinary Man Gives Orders (Experiment
13), 93, 94-95 (table), 96-97
Orne, M. I., 210
Orwell, George, 11; quoted, 11-12

Pain, subjects' estimate of, 171
Parevson, Rosetta, 210
Passive inhibition, 40
Patterns among individuals, 202-204
Peer Administers Shock (Experiment
18), 119 (table), 121-122
Permutations of roles, 89-112, 167
Pierce, c., 207
Plato, 2
Position, in obedience experiment, 89,
Predictions of behavior, 27-31, 207
Proximity, see Experiments 1-4
Prozi, Fred, 73-77
Psychiatrists' predictions, of behavior
in Voice-Feedback Experiment, 21,
30, 31

Reciprocal fields, in obedience experiment,
Remote-Feedback (Experiment 1), 32,
35 (table), 36, 38, 39, 17l (table)
Rensaleer, Jan, 50-52
Responsibility, 46, 50, 51, 76, 77, 85,
87, 134, 163, 187; loss of, 7-8, 145147
Responsibility clock, 203
Reward structure, and obedience, 137138
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
(Shirer), 2
Role permutations, 89-112, 167
Roles, 153
Rosenblum, Elinor, 79-84
Rosenhan, David, 172, 173, 210
Rosenthal, R., 170
Rosnow, R. L., 170

Scott, J. P., 40
Sequential nature of action, 149
Sheridan, C. L., 206
Shirer, William, 2
Shock generator, in obedience experiment,
20, 23, 27, 151, 159
Shock levels; in Experiments 1-4, 35
(table); in Experiments 5-11, 60-61
(table); in Experiments 12-16,
94-95 (table); in Experiments
17-18, 119 (table)
Simon, Herbert A., 208
Situational obligations, 149-152
Snow, C. P., l; quoted, 2
Social order, internalization of, 138
Social Psychology and Social Relevance
(Elm, ), 202, 204, 212
Social Psychology of Psychological
Research (Miller. ed.), 202, 210, 212
Sociometry, 209
Stalin, Joseph, 155
Status, in obedience experiment, 89, 90
Stogdill R. M., 208
Strain, 153-164; and avoidance, 158;
buffers of, 156-157; and denial,
158-159; disobedience as means of
ending, 157, 162-164; and dissent,
161-162: physical expressions of,
161; resolution of, 157-161; sources
of, 155-156; and subterfuges, 159-160
Subject as Bystander (Experiment
13.), 94-95 (table), 97-99
Subject Free to Choose Shock Level
(Experiment 11), 60--61 (table),
70-72, 166
Subjects: how recruited, 14; age and
occupation, 16; representativeness
of, 170
Subterfuges, 159
Superego (conscience), 127, 128, 129,
132, 146, 165, 209

Tables: on breakoff points, 29; on
Experiments 1-4, 35; on Experiments
5-11, 60-61; on Experiments
12-16, 94-95; on Experiments
17-18, 119; on questionnaire in
follow-up study of obedience research,
195; on responses to question
on belief, 172; on responsibility by
defiant and obedient subjects, 203;
on subjects' estimates of pain felt
by victim, 171
Taylor, T., 180
Tinbergen, N., 123
TocqueviIle, Alexis de, 207
Touch-Proximity, see Experiment 4
Trobrianders, 142
Two Authorities: Contradictory Commands
(Experiment 15), 94-95
(table), 105-107, 110, 111
Two Authorities: One as Victim
(Experiment 16), 94-95 (table),
107-110, 111
Two Peers Rebel, see Experiment 17

Variability, 130-132
Victim in obedience experiment, 16, 17;
authority as, 94-95 (table), 99-105;
closeness of, 32-43; devaluation of,
9; feedback from, 22-23, 56-57; as
"learner," 18, 19, 22; and limited
contract, see Experiment 9; live
puppy, 203-204; protests of, 22;
subjects' estimates of pain felt by,
171 (table), 171-172
Vietnam War, 180-186, 211, 212
Voice-Feedback, see Experiment 2
Voluntarism, 115

Wallace, Mike, 183
Washington, Jack, 49-50
Wiener, Norbert, 125
Wirz, Henry, 186, 212
Women as Subjects, see Experiment 8
Wouk, Herman, 208

Yale Interaction Laboratory, 16, 55
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