Milgram Experiment

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Milgram Experiment
Stanford Prison Experiment

De - individualisation refers to a loss of your sense of individuality and responsibility. Describe the de - individualisation process in both experiments.

In Stanford Prison Experiment which is conducted by Zimbardo in 1973, the de individualisation process occurs when the 24 male college students who have volunteered themselves in this experiment, are too intrigued in playing their roles as the prisoners and the guards regardless of their true self identity. This is due to the setting or the environment as well as their appearance and perception. The 24 volunteers are given each roles with 10 as the prisoners and 11 as the guards as well as 2 reserves and one is dropped out. The 10 prisoners are being arrested without their knowing at their homes which made them perceived themselves as a real criminal. The prisoners are stripped naked and given prisoners' uniform, call names with ID numbers and are placed in a small cell, barred windows and doors. The "prisoners" are placed in a "real" prison. Meanwhile, the 11 guards are dressed uniformly with guards' uniforms, billy club in their hands and whistle at their necks which have made them to look like a real guard. Then, action takes place. The prisoners and guards have adopted prisoner - guard behaviour. Over time, they start to indulge in their roles and eventually, they lose their true self identity and responsibility when they become so immersed in the norms of the group that they lose their sense of identity and personal responsibility. They may have lost their sense of personal identity because of the uniform they wore. This is the de individualisation process that has occurred in Stanford Prison Experiment, where it is found that "people will readily conform to the social roles they are expected to play, especially if the roles are as strongly stereotyped."

Milgram Experiment which is conducted by Milgram in 1961, it involves three subjects which are the "teachers", the "learners" and the "experimenter." The "experimenter" are wearing grey lab coats that make them as the authority. Whenever the "learners" do not obey the instructions of the "teachers", the teachers are ordered by the experimenter to give a shock. The higher the shock, the higher the obedience. Hence, the de individualisation process is happened when the participants are dressed in large lab coats or hoods to hide their identity or they have to wore their regular clothing with name tags. Their appearance has influenced the amount of shocks given which is the measurement of obedience of the teachers towards the experimenter. The shocks are observed longer when the participant is anonymous or wearing the lab clothing. This is the process of de individualisation that has occurred in Milgram Experiment where it is found that the role of anonymity can cause antisocial behaviour. It is found that "Ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being. Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all from the way we are brought up."

Based on the two experiments, why do you think the individuals in Nazi Germany, Taliban, Manson Family or Jonestown massacre followed their leader's instruction to commit inhumane act against others?

The reason why I think the individuals in Nazis, Taliban, Manson Family or Jonestown massacre have followed their leader's instruction to commit inhumane act against others based on these two experiments is because, in Stanford Prison Experiment, the experiment has placed their participants in a "real" prison which creates a real feelings and sense of belonging to a place. In Stanford experiment, it is found that the "prison" environment is one of the factor that has created guards' brutal behaviour. It is clear to us that the individuals in above respective groups are living in a war era, or war situation in turn have made them to follow their leaders to do cruelty towards others. General knows that during the war era, superior or leaders play a crucial role in maintaining social stability. Disobey act towards their leader is assumed as a treason. This can be proven in Milgram Experiment where it is found that ordinary people are likely to follow

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