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We live in a world that demands obedience to authority which are necessary for society to function Yet obedience can have sinister effects on society as authority figures have little need to justify actions Conformity is an effect that influences everyone to do things they might not have otherwise done Both obedience and conformity have led to atrocious acts Social psychologists in recent times have endeavoured to discover why mankind is influenced by them Experiments like Milgrams Obedience to Authority and Zimbardos Stanford Prison Experiment have further explained these phenomena They have provided enormous insights and simultaneously produced disturbing results Horrendous crimes against humanity have occurred in our times The holocaust is prevalent in our thinking education and development Many have grappled with how an event such as this was allowed to occur Goldings novel Lord of the Flies endeavours to address to notion of evil in ordinary people which was highlighted after the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials Hannah Arendt description of the banality of evil reminds us that evil is not restricted to the realm of the pathological Although we believe that we are exempt from such behaviour examination of social psychology experiments and current world events indicates no one can be certain of this How can one be sure they would not commit terrible crimes Stanley Milgram conducted perhaps one of the most famous psychology experiments of our times He conducted his experiments to explain how the events of the holocaust were possible He wondered who were all the men who pushed the levers to let the gas into the chambers of Auschwitz and Dachau He never had to look beyond the results from the US they proved sufficient Before the experiment Milgram provided fourteen psychologists a description of his plan All fourteen agreed only an insignificant amount
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