The Milgram Experiment — Obedience

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. The experiment set out to measure the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience, in an attempt to answer the popular question at that time: “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders?”

The experiment has been repeated many times in the following years with consistent results within differing societies, a phenomenon that reveals fundamentals about the nature of power and the way people react to it.