I really enjoyed reading your blog for it was different from mine.
Liz Norwood

Thanks, Liz, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. I’m interested to read your full perspective on this as well. With the Milgram Experiment the harm comes, in my opinion, from the psychological manipulation into torturing another human being (or at least believing you had done so). To the point of seizure for three of the participants (source). And while true, as you stated, so much of the fault could be placed on the participants themselves, and certainly one could easily argue that they put themselves in that position willingly and only through their own inaction were they truly hurt, but I am very uncomfortable with what could easily be construed as a sort of victim blaming when a persons’ agency has been purposely (psychologically especially) coerced or manipulated. Milgram knew what he was setting out to prove, and his follow-ups show there was potential for lasting harm. Given that he must have also known that such a small sample size that was in no way truly representative of the public (all white males who appeared to be middle-aged) for his results to be truly impactful, he put those participants through an agency stripping exercise for purely anecdotal science. For that reason alone, I cannot feel that his actions were justified. While on the surface, I do agree the findings of both studies highlight an aspect of human nature that is necessary for reflection, exposure and dissection, I also feel we have enough secondary data from real life experiences that could be studied to prove these theories without unnecessary attempts to recreate the harmful contexts they occurred in.

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