Milgram replication on Discovery Sunday night

27 10 2011

This week in class, we discussed Stanley Milgram’s obedience to authority experiments and saw the original film, Obedience, that he produced. Sunday night at 9pm EST on Discovery, there will be a show on people’s capacity for evil, which will have a Milgram experiment replication. The Advances in the History of Psychology blog mentioned it and gives details here.

The Psychologist on Milgram

27 08 2011

The ever-excellent blog Mind Hacks pointed me toward a special open-access edition of the British Psychological Society’s magazine The Psychologist which covers Stanley Milgram, including articles by psychologists, a historian, and even Milgram’s widow.

Very much worth checking out.

There’s 5 articles in total:

The shock of the old—Stephen D. Reicher and S. Alexander Haslam introduce a special feature which reconnects with Milgram’s vision for social psychology

The man, his passions and motivations—Stanley Milgram’s widow, Alexandra Milgram, with her personal take on his life

Alive and well after all these years—Jerry M. Burger updates the enduring legacy of the Milgram Obedience Studies

The window in the laboratory—Film scholar Kathryn Millard looks at Stanley Milgram as filmmaker

Milgram and the historians—Richard Overy, Professor of History at the University of Exeter, in conversation with Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam

Milgram’s 50th Anniversary

24 08 2011

The APS points out that this year is the 50th anniversary of Stanley Milgram’s obedience to authority experiments. They have a PDF of a Psychology Today article from June, 1974 which is an interview with Milgram conducted by the psychologist Carol Tavris. It includes some photos of Milgram. My favorite quote:

We are all fragile creatures entwined in a cobweb of social constraints.

Hanna Arendt and Stanley Milgram

19 08 2011

The Guardian has a well done podcast episode about Hannah Arendt’s ideas about the banality of evil. It includes a good summary of Milgram’s research, and the implications for the banality hypothesis. The consensus seems to be that banality isn’t really at play in genocide, but rather that there is real mindful action happening.

But, what happens when the situation around you is so infused with behaviors that are tantamount to evil? That the normal response is to kill and maim? Do you mindfully or mindlessly go along? Questions like these are why I like being a social psychologist.