Human Nature Reply

Response to Simon Cherdy

Hi Simon, great work over there. Human beings are susceptible to authority; consider the world war one and two. The soldiers killed each other and also killed civilians following orders from their superiors.  In the experiment higher percentage of the participants (teachers) continued to 450 volts which was the highest level. Specifically, all the participants hit the 300 volts mark. These participants new that the learner had a heart problem and still continued with the experiment. Though the participants were very anxious, they still continued with the experiment. That is how susceptible we as humans are to authority. Humans will obey any authority whenever they feel the instructions are morally right. The participants continue since they think they are helping the experiment. Response to authority is learned by people through situations such as school, workplace and family. People tend to value authority at the expense of causing harm to other people.

Response to Elaine Rodgers

Hi Elaine, great line of thought over there. Stanley Mailgram’s interest was how people can be influenced to commit atrocities. From the experiment 65 percent of the participants continued up to the 450 volts which was the highest level.  However, all the participants hit the 300 volts mark.  It is common for people to follow instructions or orders given by an authoritative figure. This goes even to the extent of killing another human being. Our obedience to authority is engraved in all human beings from the way society raises us up. Consider the world wide terrorism we are experience today, terrorists are instructed to kill civilians by their leaders and they follow the instructions since they think it is morally right. In history, there are many other such occurrences. Just like in the experiment, human beings will follow instructions even when it is at the expense of hurting other people.

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