Tag Archives | Social

Rethinking the Psychology of Tyranny Podcast

Reicher and Haslam carried out this study to examine the consequences of randomly dividing men into groups of prisoners and guards within a specially constructed institution over a period of 8 days.This study attempted to create an institution to investigate the behaviour of groups that were unequal in terms of power, status, and resources. The method […]

Questioning the Banality of Evil

There has been an almost widespread consensus amongst social psychologists that tyranny triumphs either because ordinary people blindly follow orders or else because they mindlessly conform to powerful roles. Much of this consensus has been influenced by the work of Milgram and Zimbardo However, more recently, British psychologists S. Alexander Haslam and Stephen D. Reicher […]

Zimbardo on Milgram and Obedience

There’s a nice little two part piece on The Situationist which has Zimbardo commenting on Milgram’s work. Well worth a read. “Milgram left us with a vital legacy of brilliant ideas that began with those centered on obedience to authority and extended into many new realms—urban psychology, the small-world problem, six degrees of separation, and […]

Would People Obey Today? Part I: Ethics

With the recent announcement of Jerry Berger’s (2009) soon-to-be-published (but available to download here) Replicating Milgram: Would People Still Obey I will be writing a series of articles considering the theories, methods and repercussions of both Berger’s 2009 research and the original that started this journey over 50-years-ago. Part I: Ethics Part II: Was it […]

Talk about Tyranny

The addition of the new Reicher & Haslam study to the course has introduced to many a long-argued debate surrounding Zimbardo’s original Stanford Prison Experiment; calling into question his conclusions and situational explanation for the behaviour that was seen.   Reicher & Haslam argue against this in their 2006 research from the BBC’s The Experiment (and they […]

Resisting Authority: Memories from a defiant participant

I’ve just read an account of a participant from the original Milgram experiment. The account in the January 2004 issue of Jewish Currents recounts Joseph Dimow’s experience at the hands of Milgram and the experimenter. When is it proper to refuse to obey authority figures, even if they have been democratically chosen for their positions? […]

Milgram: Would I Pull That Switch?

One of the most talked about studies, both here on PsychBLOG and throughout popular psychology, is Milgram’s study of obedience.  Here he asked a volunteer sample of men from the New Haven area to administer increasingly powerful electric shocks to another person (a confederate).  How many people, both teachers and students alike asked themselves the […]