There have been several experiments is social psychology in the u.s.a. which shed light on this cleavage to herd mentality, here are the major three that shed light on how easy it is to turn the attitude of people from humanly motivated – into socially dictated: How easy it is to lose the humanistic approach and become a screw obeying automatically to the greater social machine.
1. Stanford Prison Experiment, 1971:
Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo wanted to learn how individuals conformed to societal roles. He wondered, for example, whether the tense relationship between prison guards and inmates in jails had more to do with the personalities of each or the environment.
During Zimbardo’s EXPERIMENT, 24 male college students were assigned to be either a prisoner or a guard. The prisoners were held in a makeshift prison inside the basement of Stanford’s psychology department. They went through a standard booking process designed to take away their individuality and make them feel anonymous. Guards were given eight-hour shifts and tasked to treat the prisoners just like they would in real life.
Zimbardo found rather quickly that both the guards and prisoners fully adapted to their roles; in fact, he had to shut down the experiment after six days because it became too dangerous. Zimbardo even admitted he began thinking of himself as a police superintendent rather than a psychologist. The study confirmed that people will conform to the social.
The moral and meaning of this experiment shows that roles they’re expected to play, especially overly stereotyped ones such as prison guards, and took over their own personal common sense clear thinking. “We realized how ordinary people could be readily transformed from the good Dr. Jekyll to the evil Mr. Hyde,” Zimbardo wrote.
2. Solomon Asch experiment – was at 1951 that showed the individuals tend to give up their own common sense for the favor of surrounding to conformity.
Solomon Asch, a Polish-American social psychologist, was determined to see whether an individual would conform to a group’s decision, even if the individual knew it was incorrect. CONFORMITY is defined by the American Psychological Association as the adjustment of a person’s opinions or thoughts so that they fall closer in line with those of other people or the normative standards of a social group or situation.
In his EXPERIMENT, Asch selected 50 male college students to participate in a “vision test.” Individuals would have to determine which line on a card was longer. However, the individuals at the center of the experiment did not know that the other people taking the test were actors following scripts, and at times selected the wrong answer on purpose. Asch found that, on average over 12 trials, nearly one-third of the naive participants conformed with the incorrect majority, and only 25 percent never conformed to the incorrect majority. In the control group that featured only the participants and no actors, less than one percent of participants ever chose the wrong answer.
3. The Milgram experiment. 1963
In the wake of the horrific atrocities carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II, Stanley Milgram wanted to test the levels of obedience to authority. The Yale University professor wanted to study if people would obey commands, even when it conflicted with the person’s conscience.
Participants of the condensed STUDY, 40 males between the ages of 20 and 50, were split into learners and teachers. Though it seemed random, actors were always chosen as the learners, and unsuspecting participants were always the teachers. A learner was strapped to a chair with electrodes in one room while the experimenter äóñ another actor äóñ and a teacher went into another.
The teacher and learner went over a list of word pairs that the learner was told to memorize. When the learner incorrectly paired a set of words together, the teacher would shock the learner. The teacher believed the shocks ranged from mild all the way to life-threatening. In reality, the learner, who intentionally made mistakes, was not being shocked.
As the voltage of the shocks increased and the teachers became aware of the believed pain caused by them, some refused to continue the experiment. After prodding by the experimenter, 65 percent resumed. From the study, Milgram devised the AGENCY THEORY, which suggests that people allow others to direct their actions because they believe the authority figure is qualified and will accept responsibility for the outcomes. Milgram’s findings help explain how people can make decisions against their own conscience, such as when participating in a war or genocide.