Author Topic: The Experimenter  (Read 1350 times)

Offline Munch

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2017, 05:07:16 PM »
Stop dumping this on me. You are making irrelevant assumptions and arriving to stupid conclusions from the beginning without reading anything provided to you in a movie recommendation thread, about something you are not informed, refuse to be informed and asking me to make explanations. Cut the crap.

Sometimes I don't get why your so aggressive. I had to search around for a longer explanation to the working of said experiment, I was curious why you brought it up, and you seemed to want to start a conversation on the matter getting what people thought of it. I expressed my thoughts, it was an experiment on the workings of morality and empathy within peoples psyche when put under pressure to perform or act.

As a comparison to Nazism, as it might have been suggested why Milgram tested it, its not quite the same thing, since the nazi soldiers that killed innocent people were ordered to do so under a brutal dictator and his commanders, where as those in the experiment were only under pressure from a scientist telling them to keep going.

This is what you wanted isn't it, an open discussion on the implications of this experiment and the nature of the human psyche?

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2017, 03:29:58 AM »
Holocaust is just Milgram's inspiration. Specifically, the trial of Adolf Eichman. Because Eichman said he only obeyed the orders given to him. As a scientist, Milgram knows people are not 'evil'. He is aware the circumstances are different. He is NOT trying to create made up circumstances and explain Nazi behaviour. His goal is to get a picture of how people act under 'orders' in general. By orders, in the setting he created they are just being told what to do to accomplish something they volunteered to do. They are not actually given orders.

Subjects of the experiment are NOT under pressure from anyone. They are volunteers who come to the university by themselves, they are told that they will keep their money whatever the result of the experiment is. They are not forced to do anything. They are only told a few certain statements which is given in the text in the previous page.

-None of them refuses to do this from the beginning thinking 'I came here with my own will and volunteered, so I can leave' Or simply 'I refuse to do this'.

-None of them checks the health condition of the person -who is screaming in pain and begging- they are giving the shocks who by the way as the part of the ruse was told that had a slight heart condition.

-All of them experienced the real shock of 45 volts -the only real shock in the experiment- which is quite painful and the majority of them pushed the button up to a massive 450 .volts

-They do not see the person they shock, but hear his voice and the sound he makes in pain. (Acting)

-They all say something about it, they say they don't want to do it, they show distress, guilt, say this and that, their instincts tell them not to do it, but they DO IT ANYWAY.


Shocking people with electricty is a method of torture. Not to mention that everyone knows it is extremely painful and it is deadly at some point and destructive to human health. They also know how painful what they just experienced -the 45 volts of shock- but the majority agrees to apply that shock 10 times stronger.


The result of the experiment(s) is that most people obey to torture a fellow human being, just because they were told to do. NOT ordered, NOT bullied, NOT threatened to do. They know that they could walk away any moment. They know that they will keep their money whatever is the result. They are NOT under orders, they know they volunteered and they can make a choice. This result stayed pretty much the same later when the experiment recreated in 70s or in 21st century.

It's not about the 65 % that went till the end to 450 volts, while majority of the rest went along up to 300 volts and other powers, a very few people have stopped early in the experiment and NONE of them rejected to do it after they were told what was expected of them. A Dutch electric engineer left the experiment very early, apparently he was the subject Milgram found memorable. 

Quote
This experiment shows the extreme willingness of adults to go to unbelievable lengths on the command of an authority. Few people have the resources and ability to resist authority.


Later in 60s, Milgram moves the obedience experiment to another setting. He takes it out of the universty, because a university is an authoritative, reliable setting. He sets up a decorum more shady and tried to incline an illegal setting. Results didn't change significantly. It just got a little lower on the people who went on till the end. Which is actually more alarming in a way, because it means people are more ready to do something awful when they are told if it comes from an official source they recognise and respect.

:arrow: This has nothing to do with basic primate instincts as in acting according to some hierarchy, food chain, survival, protection of the mate or off spring in the setting because there is no reward or a situation, an event created to compete-push the subject in. It's a passive, fixed setting.

:arrow: Why this is so fucking disturbing and not something to pass as 'ah human nature, so what?'. Because we LEARN TO OBEY or NOT TO OBEY AUTHORITY, we LEARN TO MAKE CHOICES, we LEARN TO QUESTION ORDERS or NOT. We are not born with these abilities or tendencies. They are the things we learn in a social setting. From our family, friends, society, in school, at work...etc.

:arrow: What lead those people to act this way is not some powerful, violent primary instinct the animal called primate naturally has, but the civilised human who learned to obey authority, to make choices, or to question or not to question. It's NOT the animal, it is the human. The animal intinct screams STOP! whenever he-she hears the voice of a fellow primate in pain, human makes a choice and chooses to go on.

:arrow: Milgram has actually proved on a scientific setting that that the majority of the people in the world would act like Adolf Eichman under those circumstances. That disturbed people so badly, they denied his tenure. They blamed him with being 'immoral'. People went to incredible lengths against themselves, what they hear, feel, their guilt, distress to obey and even impress authority without pressure or threat. They didn't ask a simple question of "What the fuck am I doing here?" and then blamed the scientist who conducted the experiments.

Can you imagine what would happen, has happened, did happen, keep happening even with just an inclination of some threat or real pressure, let alone a brutal dictatorship in real life?


So yeah, this movie is an important piece of entertainment, esp. to the generations who cannot be bothered to learn something if it wasn't made into some series of memes, youtube videos and vlogs or a movie franchise. It is telling something real and people should get down from their moral high horse and pay attention to it. Because they all are only just as 'moral' as those people who volunteered to the experiment contrary to their strong belief that they are special deep down. That was my purpose of posting the thread.



« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 03:37:20 AM by drunkenshoe »

Offline Baruch

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2017, 07:01:24 AM »
These kinds of experiments aren't just informative about the origins of Nazism ... but are useful research for the intelligence agencies who need to build people of mass destruction or do enhanced interrogation or more compliant employees.  It didn't work on Snowden however.  He didn't follow orders ... or did he? ;-)
שלום

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2017, 07:10:09 AM »
The experiments are not about understanding the roots of Nazism. They are about understanding human behaviour.

Yes, the fact that we have very few whistle blowers is a good confirmation. 

No, your Hollywood paranoia doesn't mean anything without evidence.


Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2017, 11:38:27 AM »
I remember reading about this experiment in college.  And another one that dealt with a group of college students broken down into guards and prisoners.  I found those surprising (yes I was very, very unworldly at the time).  I have been interested in WWII for most of my life and those two (and several others I don't remember right now) helped explain the common man reaction to Hitler and Stalin, and also that it was not exclusive to any particular group, but a very human trait.  I've often wondered how I would fair in these type experiments.  I like to think I'd refuse to hurt anyone; but I have not been put into that situation, yet.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2017, 03:00:25 PM »
I've often wondered how I would fair in these type experiments.  I like to think I'd refuse to hurt anyone; but I have not been put into that situation, yet.

I share your thoughts and sentiments. But people in the experiment had no idea what is going on as it was required. So if it is a believable design and a good scenario, the experience could be completely different for individuals who are sure of themselves.

But yeah when thinking straight from a distance, everyone tends to think 'not me' I guess. Isn't that another very human trait?


Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2017, 03:21:00 PM »
I share your thoughts and sentiments. But people in the experiment had no idea what is going on as it was required. So if it is a believable design and a good scenario, the experience could be completely different for individuals who are sure of themselves.

But yeah when thinking straight from a distance, everyone tends to think 'not me' I guess. Isn't that another very human trait?
Yeah, it is.  But life has taught me that one doesn't always know what one is going to do until one is doing it. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2017, 03:22:35 PM »
Yeah, it is.  But life has taught me that one doesn't always know what one is going to do until one is doing it.

That's exactly what I was thinking. It useless to say, "I wouldn't do that".

Offline Munch

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2017, 04:08:59 PM »
That's exactly what I was thinking. It useless to say, "I wouldn't do that".

However, just because the experiment shown there were people who would, doesn't dismiss the fact there are those who wouldn't.

There's a reason why the title 'A few good men' exists. I'd also like to refer to the examples of mens ability to overcome driven authority with examples like 1914 christmas truce of western front.

But if you just want to keep referring to this experiment as the proof that all people are inherently sadistic based on authority overriding peoples ability to make ethical decisions themselves, I could also refer to the fact again not everyone decided to continue the experiment. 

I watched the milgram experiment, and something I realized about it, you said the experiment wasn't under any kind of pressure to the person pressing the button to administer the shocks, yet we find out the pressure infact comes from the offer of money to the participant. That in itself is a pressure placed on them, because in 1960, $450 was a lot of money to just be given up.



Sort of breaks it down a lot more when there was some strong motivation for it, and the first man in this example still decided to stop before it went to far, refusing to accept that much cash. This really is the question of would you punch someone in the face for $1k

 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 04:24:58 PM by Munch »

Offline Baruch

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2017, 07:56:25 PM »
And earlier philosophical study:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer

but this applies to Americans, not just Germans.
שלום

Re: The Experimenter
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2017, 03:46:14 AM »
I watched the milgram experiment, and something I realized about it, you said the experiment wasn't under any kind of pressure to the person pressing the button to administer the shocks, yet we find out the pressure infact comes from the offer of money to the participant. That in itself is a pressure placed on them, because in 1960, $450 was a lot of money to just be given up.

They are clearly told that they are not to give the money back, doesn't matter however the experiment ends. I wrote that several times in the thread. It's clearly expressed in the movie too. It is not a factor.

You are aware that this man is NOT someone working some traditional 5-9 job and decided to do something like this as a prank just for kicks, right?

Why do you think that the experts in the field, people who has been thinking about these issues -it is a major issue in human relations- people who designed the experiment itself in a university, would over look a crucial factor like this, but you as a layman can catch it in a 2 days? Don't you think that before you, other experts wouldn't point it out immediately and declared the experiment invalid to begin with if there was a disturbing flaw with the design, instead of blaming the scientist with 'tricking people' or 'acting immorally'. 

Seriously why? I am really curious. Because the field is psychology? As there is no hard math and natural science, it gives you some blanch card to openly interpret the results to your whim or 'Myeah' to the design of the experiment according to however you feel?

On the other hand, if the money was a factor of pressure, if you think 450 dollars 50 years ago -or today let's make it 4500 or 45000...etc. - generates some sort of natural, reasonable 'pressure' to 'torture' people with electricty just because people were told to do it that is somehow evidence against the result of the experiment you really have no idea what is going on here, besides conflicting with your own view on this experiment awfully. Not sure if you are aware of that at this point.

This is not about being 'good'. Or 'oh look, there are people who didn't do it'.

This is about revealing a LEARNED human behaviour which is proved by a series of experiments in different times as a common human behaviour, because we can define it as common behaviour as a result of this. The emphasis is on the LEARNED part because what I wrote in detail, I am not going to repeat it here.

Scepticism is not rejecting something because you don't like it or it makes you feel despondent about your own species or the world you live in. You don't get to be sceptic by refusing the result of an experiment at first sight that has been discussed for decades and being reproduced over and over again, because you'de like to think most people wouldn't do it or that you are sure yourself wouldn't.

This is the difference between religious thinking -NOT as in scripture or organised religions, but a form of thinking- and independent thinking in trying to understand our species, our environment and what the fuck is going on in our reality.

And it is ugly. It's not just something to dump on 'oh didn't you know we are primates, they are violent animals'. This specific topic is about something we ourselves create, make happen under the simplest situations. It's why it is so important.