By Marcus Smith
Period 3 Social
Born and raised in New York City
Graduated from James Monroe
High School in 1950 with another
famous psychologist named Phil
Received his bachelors degree at Queens
College in 1954.
Earned PhD at Harvard University in 1960
for Social Psychology
Became professor at City University of
New York Graduate Center in 1967.
Provided Milgrams theory, which
was the Theory of obedience.
The theory of obedience was that
a human is in either one of two
The two states were
1. Autonomous state: this state represents
that individuals make decisions based on
their own ideas, beliefs, judgments, and
2. Agentic state: when the person give up
there responsibility due to the other
person being of higher rank
When a person goes from one state to
another, they don’t think about the
potential consequences. At this point they
aren't responsible for their actions and are
just following orders.
Created the shock experiment to test these
Milgram tested his theory by doing a shock
experiment, where he randomly selected
two people from mailing and had them
draw out of a hat to see who was going to
take what position. One person was going
to be the learner, and one person was
going to be the teacher. There was also
the lead experimenter.
The teacher would teach the learner word-pairs.
When the learner would make a mistake, the teacher
would shock the learner. Every time the shock would
get more intense. After a while it would be very
intense and the learner would eventually tell the
experimenter to please stop because it is starting to
hurt. The point of the experiment from here on was
for the experimenter to say, “No, you must go on” or
“you have no other choice.” The learner wouldn’t
stop complaining and would eventually get shocked
again and again to where it became very serious.
Prior to the experiment, experts believed
that 1-3% of the experimenters would keep
shocking the learner. It ended up being
65%. The experimenters obviously abused
the power of being in that seat.
Stanley Milgram had a great affect on
psychology because he was the first one
to test such a dangerous experiment. This
has led to many other psychologists to test
similar theories out.
This experiment has shown the world that
when one has gained obedience, they take
advantage of it. The person will take
advantage of the authority.
I believe Stanley Milgram has pointed
something out that is very important to all
of us. It explains many events that have
occurred over the years, such as the
Holocaust, Stalin’s Russia, and Louis XIV
of France. It was a brutal experiment but
really showed what happens