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#02 L’obbedienza all’autorità – Il Bureau

Infographics series for the italian online magazine
Episode 02

1965 – Prof. Stanley Milgram called for some volunteers. He said he wanted to do an experiment about learning and punishment. Volunteers, who did not know the real object of the research, had to perform like teachers and punish learners. Actually learners were Prof. Milgram’s assistants. Punishment consisted of what they believed to be painful electric shocks. The more serious the mistake, the more intense the electric shocks had to be.
The volunteer had to sit in front of an instrument that could produce 15 to 450-volt electric shocks. Some researchers, next to the volunteer, had the task of overcoming resistance. In front of the fake learners’ shout, researchers reminded teachers that there was a task to be performed, that the pain was not too heavy, that it was a matter of scientific progress.
Results: two thirds of the volunteers gave higher and higher shocks ignoring the fact that it was a simulation. Only one person among three overcame researchers’ harassment and refused to give more pain.
You do not need questions to obey.
You always need to ask « Why? » to be free.

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