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Stanley Milgram

Stanley Milgram

Stanley Milgram was born on August 15, 1933 in the New York City to a Hungarian father and Jewish mother. He was excellent in his studies and a great team leader among his friends. He studied in James Monroe High School. Due to his diligence and hard work, he acquired his Bachelor degree in Political Science from Queen’s college, New York in 1954 which was tuition free. Although initially being rejected from an underground programme at Harvard, he was later accepted after enrolling himself as a student in Harvard’s office of special students. Thus in 1960, he received his Ph.D in Social Psychology from Harvard University.

In general, Milgram preferred to handle subjects that were related to common man. For example, he was questioned by his mother-in-law once as to why people don’t quit their seats on the subway to which he replied that these people were unable to act against each other. Much later, his students went out to investigate and it was proved that his theory was accurate.

In 1974, he published Obedience to Authority, an experiment to analyze the willingness of the participants to obey a figure that was authoritative to them. This was in alliance with their personal conscience. In July 1961, the experiments started when the German Nazi War criminal Adolf Eichmann was tried. Stanley Milgram made use of his psychological study to find out whether Eichmann and his accomplices did it for their own mutual purposes? However, his testing proved that the millions of accomplices were following orders and at the same time go against their moral beliefs. These experiments have been carried out across many cultures, societies and globes. Apparently, these experiments have been termed physically and psychologically abusive and perceive a very controversial aspect of Psychology.

Besides, an anti-social behavior experiment was carried out by Stanley Milgram to find out the relation between media consumption and anti-social behavior. It also gave the opportunity of stealing money or donating it to charity. On the other hand, Milgram also developed the lost letter experiment which entails the co-operation and extending hand of people towards strangers and their attitude towards other groups. It happens so when they planted sealed and stamped letters in public places which were for important units such as individuals and favorable organization such as medical and research institutes and for stigmatized organization such as Friends of the Nazi Party. Strangely, letter to the favorable organizations and individuals were mailed where as those to stigmatized organizations were not.

For his achievements mainly for his work on obedience, he was awarded Annual Social Psychology Award by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1974. He died in New York city in 1984 at the age of 51 leaving behind his widow and two children.

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