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I think this article could do with a bit of a rewrite. It seems basically ok, but much of it could be stated in a far simpler manner. However, I am not a sociologist and might not be best qualified to do this. Is there anyone qualified who can check the article if I have a go at simplifying it this weekend? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 16:25, 20 July 2007
Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr wrote in 1981 that The Milgram Experiment and the later Zimbardo Experiment at Stanford University were frightening in their implications about the danger which lurks in the darker side of human nature.
This appears to be a quote from one of these "self-improvement"-type of management books, written by Peters and Waterman.
I'm not quite sure why it's slapped in the middle here. I'd say let's remove it, as it's quite irrelevant, but if we want to keep it it should probably go at the bottom with the rest of the 2in popular culture" stuff (which needs trimming a bit anyway) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 16:25, 20 July 2007
Shouldn’t the debunking of the experiment, mentioned in paragraph two of the ‘criticisms’ be inclided in the introduction? The impression is given by the first feew paragraphs that this is still valid 220.127.116.11 (talk) 18:55, 4 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
That would be giving too much prominence to the views of one psychologist over the prevailing view of many psychologists. As two critics of Gina Perry's book pointed out, that other scientists replicated Milgram's experiment and mostly achieved similar results. Replication is an important part of the scientific method. Anywikiuser (talk) 08:58, 8 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The main aspect of these "laboratory conditions" (not only Milgram, basically every simulated situation) is that they simply can't be compared with real life: All participants would have assumed that a) a prestigious institution like Yale would not conduct an experiment in which people get seriously hurt or possibly killed. b) the experimenters would be competent enough to know if the victim could be in danger (and then of course stop the experiment). and c) the experimenters (i.e. Yale University) would take full responsibility for the possible effects on the subjects. Neither of these assumptions would apply to a random situation in a public place, a factory etc. A "scientist" in an academic setting telling a volunteer to press buttons in an experiment about memory and learning methods is first of all not an authority figure, but a trustworthy expert. This behaviour can not at all be used to explain concentation camps, the Vietnam War, the torturing of prisoners in Falludscha or Guantanamo, the massacre at Butschra etc. These atrocities happened as the result of believing to be the "good guys", dehumanizing the victims and fear for their own security. Milgram's victims, at least those who believed the experiment to be real (the acting was very bad!), partcipated because they trusted the "experimenter". The real issue is Milgram's interpretation (and presentation) of the data. A scientist may start with a hypothesis, but he must always try to analyze the results without a bias. But Milgram wanted to prove his hypothesis -- Everybody can be turned into a torturer if given orders by an authority figure -- and he ignored all possible other explanations. He even went so far as to remove contradicting evidence and to disregard the victims' own explanations as self-defence-mechanisms (typical thinking pattern of psychologists at the time). (By the way, a biologist told me that although the human olfactory sense is very limited, pepole do literally smell if other persons are in mortal danger or are fearing for their life, because the composition of sweat changes -- the German word for cold sweat is "Angstschweiß".)--18.104.22.168 (talk) 10:26, 7 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]