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It is ironic that virtues of loyalty discipline and self-sacrifice that we value so highly in the individual are the very properties that create destructive organizational engines of war and bind men to malevolent systems of authority The aftermath of the Holocaust and the events leading up to World War II had the world was stunned with the happenings in Nazi German and their acquired surrounding territories that came out during the Eichmann Trials Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders Could we call them all accomplices Stanley Milgram 1960 Stanley Milgram a psychologist at Yale University conducted studies focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience He examined justifications for acts of genocide offered by those accused at the World War II Nuremberg War Criminal trials Their defense often was based on obedience - - that they were just following orders of their superiors These hypotheses were explored in what is perhaps the most famous and controversial study in social psychology Stanley Milgram hypothesized that his subjects will comply to his orders regardless of their moral beliefs because it is human nature to comply to an authority figure In his study the individuals show up for the study they are told that they are participating in a learning experiment in which they act as the teacher And they are instructed to read a list of two word pairs and ask the learner unbeknownst to them is a confederate to read them back If the learner gets the answer correct then they move on to the next word If the answer is incorrect the teacher is supposed to shock the learner starting at 15 volts and going up to 450 volts in 15 volt increments The teacher automatically is supposed to increase the shock each time the learner misses a word in the list Although the teacher thought that he
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