Stanley Milgram created an experiment in 1961 which became known as the Milgram experiment.
It tests human obedience to authority. Test subjects were asked to give a person behind a screen electric shocks when he answered questions wrong.
The person behind the screen was an actor, pretending to get shocked and screaming in pain.
The Original 1961 Experiment
Conclusion: "In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment, some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment." -Source Wikipedia
So we got our results, about two thirds of people listened. But the experiments don't stop there.
Many psychologists and enthusiasts have recreated this experiment to see if they can push the numbers even further.
Milgram Experiment on French TV show - "Game of Death
(Video by Skynews)
Milgram Experiment on BBC in 2009
Video by GriefTourist
Also another variation of the Milgram Experiment by Derren Brown in his episode "The Heist, where he gets participants to rob a van in broad daylight. (couldn't embed it here).
Bonus:Check out the movie The Tenth Level ft. William Shatner, inspired by the Milgram Experiment. It was only broadcast a few times on TV before being shelved.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
(video by hidayahmahaleh)
Another similar psychology experiment, which inspired the 2010 movie "The Experiment"
Bottom line/what we learned from these studies: We get it already! You can be cruel on command and stuff, even if you don't think you're evil. But I don't think I would fall for those tricks. =D
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