The Man Who Shocked The World

Stanley MilgramReview of the new biography of Stanley Milgram – architect of one of the most famous experiments in social psychology – by Raj Persaud in the British Medical Journal:

“The late Stanley Milgram fairly lays claim to be one of the greatest behavioural scientists of the 20th century.

He derives his renown from of a series of experiments on obedience to authority, which he conducted at Yale University in 1961-2. Milgram found, surprisingly, that 65% of his subjects, ordinary residents of New Haven, were willing to give apparently harmful electric shocks – up to 450 volts – to a pitifully protesting victim, simply because a scientific, lab coated authority commanded them to, and despite the fact that the victim did nothing to deserve such punishment. The victim was, in reality, a good actor who did not actually receive shocks, a fact that was revealed to the subjects at the end of the experiment.”

Review of The Man Who Shocked The World
Description of the experiment that ‘shocked the world’

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 8 August 2005

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