Erica Grimaldi 0508 ‐ 211 ‐ 03 Discussion Paper Authority is the power to influence thought, opinion, or behavior. Examples of authority in our society can commonly be found throughout Government, Schools/Teachers, and Religion. Milgram’s experiment measures the willingness to obey authority, in various situations. Milgram administered and observed a subject giving electric shocks to another subject. It was believed by the subjects that the shocks were real and that there was actual pain involved, but Milgram set up the experiment so that there were not actually any real shocks or pain. Milgram was testing whether the subjects would be willing to put other through pain in the name of science, under the authority of scientists. Today we see this type of experiment as cruel, and inhumane. In fact, today, this type of experiment would be illegal. The study of authority in relation to science has been around for a while; as far back as the early 1960s, when Milgram ran his experiment. Milgram quotes social philosopher Harold Laski, "Our business, if we desire to live a life, not
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