“The classic account of the human tendency to follow orders, no matter who they hurt or what their consequences.” — Washington Post Book World
In the 1960s, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram famously carried out a series of experiments that forever changed our perceptions of morality and free will. The subjects—or “teachers”—were instructed to administer electroshocks to a human “learner,” with the shocks becoming progressively more powerful and painful. Controversial but now strongly vindicated by the scientific community, these experiments attempted to determine to what extent people will obey orders from authority figures regardless of consequences. “Milgram’s experiments on obedience have made us more aware of the dangers of uncritically accepting authority,” wrote Peter Singer in the New York Times Book Review.
With an introduction from Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, Obedience to Authority is Milgram’s fascinating and troubling chronicle of his classic study and a vivid and persuasive explanation of his conclusions.
Stanley Milgram taught social psychology at Yale University and Harvard University before becoming a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His honors and awards include a Ford Foundation fellowship, an -American Association for the Advancement of Science sociopsychological prize, and a Guggenheim fellowship. He died in 1984 at the age of fifty-one.
Each topic has been covered by a different author, who has carried out research in the area in question, and is experienced in demonstrating the main experimental facts in practical class work. The editors have written a challenging introduction, in which some of the basic issues involved in experimental work in social behaviour are raised.
In response to market demand, The SAGE Handbook of Social Psychology: Concise Student Edition has been published and represents a slimmer (16 chapters in total), more course focused and student-friendly volume. The editors and authors have also updated all references, provided chapter introductions and summaries and a new Preface outlining the benefits of using the Handbook as an upper level teaching resource. It will prove indispensable reading for all upper level and graduate students studying social psychology.
Beginning with B. F. Skinner and the legend of a child raised in a box, Slater takes us from a deep empathy with Stanley Milgram's obedience subjects to a funny and disturbing re-creation of an experiment questioning the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. Previously described only in academic journals and textbooks, these often daring experiments have never before been narrated as stories, chock-full of plot, wit, personality, and theme.