Re-thinking the Milgram Obedience Experiment

Re-thinking the Milgram Obedience Experiment

Reflecting on the fiftieth anniversary of the Milgram Obedience Experiment (in which subjects were instructed to apply seemingly-painful shock treatments to victims being held in another area of their testing facility), John M. Grohol goes deeper into the ethics of the study in his article Psychology Secrets: People Aren’t as Evil as the Milgram Obedience Experiment Suggested. While the study nevertheless continues to support the suggestibility of many to apparent authority figures, perhaps Grohol’s report could be subtitled (based on the material that has come to light about the methods used in the study): “Researchers Aren’t Always as Ethical as Presumed.”

Both sides of the report illustrate in part the need to think reflectively about assertions of truth, no matter who makes them. This concept is taught and exemplified in the Bible:

1 John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Acts 17:11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”