The Psychology of Authority

The Psychology of Authority

What percentage of people would obey if they were ordered to commit murder? The answer might surprise you.
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May 17, 2013 / 49 Comments / by / in
  • Strictly out of curiosity, I'm interested in seeing how it went down when the experiment was ended when the participants playing the role of teacher flatly refused to continue.

  • Also, while I find the Milgram experiments to be fascinating, wouldn't a true test of testing the theory of punishment-based learning depend on a constant behavior as opposed to a different one each time? What I mean is, how can one learn to avoid punishment for a wrong answer when each question is different?

    I realize that is totally not the point of this video; it was just something I picked up on.

  • I would, as I'm sure many other people would, try to say that I would not be so susceptible to such breeches within my own sense of morality and conscience. But, just like many other people, I'm certain I would fall to the call of authority… Though I hold the educational system responsible for such susceptibilities, for it is the education system, developed by the Persians and refined over the years by governments around the world, that was specifically made to create this sense of subservience in the masses, and I, as many other people, have been raised and trained and forced into conformity by this authority-driven system of education. This is no excuse to ignore your conscience, as those who commit heinous acts with the justification of "just following orders" are just as guilty as those that commanded them. It's just a starting point for where we should start if we wish to break this spell of subservience and slavery: The educational system.

  • J M

    This is why free thinking is critical and the tapping of our phones and spying on our email etc is a criminal offense.  A great Buddhist monk named Ajahn Brahm once said, "Never let your knowledge get in the way of truth."  I wish every human being in this world could watch this video.  It might just create a better world someday.

  • lol…the yelps were funni…

  • "Must be hard for those who accept authority as truth instead of accepting truth as authority."

  • same with religion…

  • all I can say is sickening!

  • how to escape the psychology of control- mark passio on tragedy and hope. If you like the authority conversation

  • The Psychology of Authority

  • What percentage of people would obey if they were ordered to commit murder? MOST! Am I the only one thinking about war, and soldiers? Or are they just forgiven for all their what some would call "deeds" because what they do is to protect their own and their countries stupid national pride. people do not wan't to be evil, but we live in a world where most people are still too hung up on their weapons and resources. We are still bound by tradition, and war is a tradition, some people would even be proud if their son shot an opponent, without thinking about how the father of the opponent is feeling about all of this, humans are nasty, and that's what makes it OK for the US to produce mass-destruction weapons for everyone on a daily basis. Leaders (authorities) can make the decision to invade another country by few words and most people will still obey. I don't care if you do not agree.. I just hope that people in the future will. 

  • Fuck me! Wow how new the world looks!!! Dam

  • I think the Milgram experiment shows us we operate as we were designed, all animals are the same it is laws of nature, a human will do as they are told by another they consider to be authority, pecking order. I would actually like to carry out this experiment to the next level. I would like to manipulate the environment to see at what point the predicted out come can be changed. As an example by simply replacing the test subject being asked the questions being replaced by the questioners mother, son or daughter. I would also like to see who, what, when and where of the people selected for the testing.
    I went into a little background of this experiment and discovered this poster advertising the Milgram Experiment. The sign states $4.00 pay for one hour of time. So this means the questioners were "paid" to take the test introducing a different spin all together. Where they really thinking; " If the did not Complete the Test they would not get Paid?".

  • Fuck that shit, I'd tell the person the answers.

  • This and many other interesting experiments are found in this great book that everyone should read to understand how salesman use psychology to make us say 'yes" and buy shit we dont need  –  Influence the psychology of persuasion by robert cialdini

  • Authority reminds us of our parents and of our selves as future parents, that's why it's hard for us to doubt authority. It needs practice to know when and how to resist authority.

  • stopped watching this shitvideo after the propaganda against germany and germans during ww2 in the beginning


  • stop trying to act smart

    you are only reading off a paper, text which was invented and written by someone else probably the first inventor of this subject

    u are just dumb

  • They have come to the wrong conclusion with this experiment.  It is not the authority that is controlling the behaviour.  It is the sequencing of the questions.  We are designed to identify and adhere to repeatable sequences.  We do it every day of our lives without even challenging it.

  • Humanity = FAIL! We're all just stupid unthinking irresponsible beings. These knowledge depresses me but… It's also good to know to deter assholes exploiting you. You resist their will and influence by thinking for yourself and stay vigilant aware of any BS people throw at you. #Authority #BadInfluence #ItAllPerception #WakeUp

  • so it was the vietnam war protests, rock music, television that changed people from the pre-60s style to post 60s right? they were so stiff and cold back then.

  • The only real authority who should be submitted to is Jesus.

  • Authority is only a concept…

  • This is massive

  • Well, this raises the question of human free will.

  • we should learn about this in school.

  • Why do people always have to put loud dramatic music over dialogue so one can hardly hear what the person is saying?  A lot of otherwise very good videos are spoiled by this on Youtube.

  • +StormCloudsGathering Music?

  • do they know they're being video recorded, May effect the outcome. some people would see the camera as showing others that they are not following orders and the others would react negatively people are afraid of being outed by groups watching their actions so they do what they feel will keep others from judging them negatively

  • "I love Big Brother." – Mr. Atwater

  • The subjects were being paid to do it.

  • as a person with master's degree in psychology I must warn all of you against blindly trusting such sensational claims (in the 60s they were sensational anyway), Milgram's experiment was dehoaxed long time ago:
    65percent of participants indeed gave lethal shocks, but only in one group (36/40 per group, from 700 people in whole sample), there were many groups in which no one agreed to continue with the experiment.
    Author of this video either didn't check the fact or deliberately put out demagogic information in order to gain more views. It's a shame really, because this channel showed a lot of promisse.

  • Kinda like a mall cop

  • I don't know why people are saying turn down music, sounds just fine to me

  • What? I can't hear you! Your background music is too loud!

  • Reminiscent of Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment

  • We are limited creatures by default, so how do we know what is moral or amoral?

  • Look in the mirror for leadership….not to meglomaniac politicians….

  • Non off the experimentees actualy went to the dor to look at the "electrocuted!"

  • authority is not real and it does not exist, there are no excuses for obedience.

  • I'm reminded of an experiment where a mother rabbit is separated from her babies. This mother rabbit is somehow being physiologically monitored. Then, in another room where the mother could not see or hear them, the babies are killed. The mother rabbit would have a physical reaction to this, even though beyond what we think would be her realm of perception. So,Maybe on some level the test subjects in this experiment know that they are not physically harming anyone but their surface consciousness wants to fulfill the expectation of the scientists..? theory…

  • Authority is given by the masses; it falls apart if no one follows. The actions of the teachers in the face of authority in this video, is insanity, and therefore they are great accidental teachers but only if we learn.

  • I think we live in a land of stupid people.  Wherever I go trying to learn whatever it is I'm trying to learn there is this "music" of some kind being played while someone is talking and trying to communicate with his or her listeners.  Somehow, the presenters never get the message that it is very distracting to play music while people are trying to hear what you are saying.  This is the land of stupid people.  They are unable to learn even this simple lesson.  Dumbed down???  That's an understatement.

  • Read Zimbardos The Lucifer Effect

  • You should do a follow up video with the new studies of punishment and it's long term negative affects

  • The Milgram experiment. Anyone will do anything when someone presses that person's correct buttons. We can never really know another person. Under normal circumstances, people operate with some range of consistency. Under enough pressure, they will throw their own mothers under the bus to save themselves.

  • That a person, place, thing, event, behavior, or pattern appears 'authorized' scripted, written, or subject to boundary conditions and form is not evidence that an authority is present.

    One could have one's head crushed by a stray meteor finding it's way into the earth's atmosphere, from some distant galaxy… or be shot by a police officer. In either case, one might perceive that an authority is present – the limiting intent of the police officer, or the limitations imposed on meteors and apparently solid manifestations of energy, by other apparent forces or manifestations of energy. However, in both cases the source of such events could just as easily be seen as the 'same' source.

    On might consider this concept as a switch to shut down, or turn on, perception or relevance of time/space… and then one might consider a qubit, quantum bit, as a switch that can be both an on and off state simultaneously. Thus, the lie of space/time can be simultaneously superimposed on the lack of such… much the way we can recall/envision memories of experience while simultaneously adhering to states associated with consensus physical experience… two states at once… dreaming.

    Thus, perception, classification, and measurements made by the apparent localization of awareness can appear to bias the perception that authorities are in play. Without such measure, or deviance from say 'Absolute Zero Temperature', authorization is irrelevant… and so is that issue of 'authority'. No 'thing' is thus authorized to supersede it's source (possibly the Void or Absolute Zero Temperature… absolute possibility).

    In effect, authority becomes more relative to a state of awareness, or the state in which energy seems to have deviated from it's source state… rendering us, as authorities or slaves, to be a mere imagining, or a lie.

  • People are so fucking stupid they have to have somebody tell them what to do what to eat what to wear how to act but not to fear the little Jews are doing just that on the TV

  • This just an anti Hitler bullshit channel praying on the stupid.

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