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The TSA (and other experiments in evil)

In 1961, a psychologist conducted an experiment demonstrating how ordinary men and women could be induced to inflict torture on complete strangers merely because an authority figure had ordered them to do so. In 2001, the United States government formed the Transportation Security Administration to subject hundreds of millions of air travelers to increasingly humiliating and invasive searches and pat downs. These two phenomena are not as disconnected as they may seem. Join us today on The Corbett Report as we explore The TSA (and other experiments in evil).


The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education, to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Participants were led to believe that they were assisting an unrelated experiment, in which they had to administer electric shocks to a "learner." These fake electric shocks gradually increased to levels that would have been fatal had they been real.

The experiment found, unexpectedly, that a very high proportion of men would fully obey the instructions, albeit reluctantly. Milgram first described his research in a 1963 article in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.

The experiments began in July 1961, in the basement of Linsly-Chittenden Hall at Yale University, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the popular contemporary question: "Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" The experiment was repeated many times around the globe, with fairly consistent results


Posted by George Freund on February 3, 2019 at 6:02 PM 167 Views