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Milgram Experiment Transcript and Blurb From BBC Horizon How Violent Are You

Milgram Experiment Transcript and Blurb From BBC Horizon How Violent Are You

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An excellent retrial of the Milgram experiment by BBC Horizon. This contains BBC blurb, transcript of the sequence and links were it can be viewed.
An excellent retrial of the Milgram experiment by BBC Horizon. This contains BBC blurb, transcript of the sequence and links were it can be viewed.

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Published by: tumeric on Jun 03, 2010
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06/03/2010

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The dark side of human nature
 
THE VIOLENCE SEASONHorizon – How Violent Are You?
Program Info BBC Week 19 Violence Season – Horizon How Violent Are YouMichael Portillo investigates what makes ordinary people commit extreme acts of violence, in the final Horizon of the series, andexplores the fine line between control and aggression.Michael looks at the environmental and psychological factors that can cause an individual to snap and to lose their self-control. Heexplores a much darker side of people's nature and asks if anyone can be driven to deliberately kill. In a thought-provoking andsometimes uncomfortable journey, Michael discovers that each of us could be inherently more violent than we think.Michael learns what it's like to inflict pain as he takes part in the Tinku, an annual violence ritual in the Bolivian Andes. To find out if violence is addictive he meets an ex-football hooligan, who lived for his Saturday fights, and a former child soldier from war-tornSudan, who tells a harrowing story of brainwashing, torture and regret.In a personal challenge, Michael is pushed to his limits in an extreme sleep-deprivation test that pits him against two crying babies.After 36 hours without sleep, he spends a pressurised day working in a professional kitchen as Professor Jane Ireland tries to find out iMichael's passive personality can be broken down to unearth a violent core.Most surprisingly of all, he meets with Professor Peter Smith to observe one of the most violent groups in society, a group biologicallyincapable of controlling their aggressive instincts – ordinary three-year-olds. Michael learns how socialisation and learned experienceschange the make-up of the brain and help us to control our behaviour as we age.But what does it take for ordinary people to inflict pain in everyday situations? In a fascinating psychological study, Michael watches areplication of one of the most controversial studies in history, the Milgram study. Will participants be willing to administer a seeminglylethal electric shock to someone they think is an innocent bystander.In 1961, shortly after the start of the trial of war criminal Adolf Eichmann, scientist Stanley Milgram set up a controversial study totest an argument prevalent at the time – that the Nazis responsible for the holocaust were uniquely evil and that such an eventcouldn't happen elsewhere. Horizon recreates that experiment, in which ordinary people are asked to harm another human beingin pursuit of what they think is a worthwhile idea. Most participants are shown accepting the authority of a (fake) scientist toadminister potentially lethal electric shocks to another volunteer (also a fake). "They do this in pursuit of an ideology – theybelieve that they are helping science," Michael explains. "Milgram's experiment was deeply shocking because it showed thatpeople would obey orders to commit an act of violence. What is extraordinary is that they don't do so after years of conditioning orpolitical propaganda, they do it 10 minutes after they were walking down the street."
 
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BBC Horizon - How Violent Are You? - Milgram Experiment (15 min film clip)
TRANSCRIPTPart 1- What do you think would be necessary to make a peaceful person be able to kill?- Pressure. If you put them under serious pressure. You kill someone related to them. Or you just come and give them an idea... and brainwash them.
Emanuel’s experience was extreme. And I could see how the horror of war persuaded him into adestructive ideology. But does it take that level of personal trauma... losing your mother, your village...to kill for an idea? Could I or any other person who’s not been in such a savage situation, ever believean idea was worth killing for?To find out, Michael is about to observe the replication of one of the most controversial experiments inhistory. In 1961, social psychologist Stanley Milgram devised a test to see if ordinary law-abidingpeople would give a stranger a lethal electric shock in the name of science.Twelve members of the public arrive for what they think is a memory test. They are introduced toanother person who
they believe is a volunteer. He’s really an actor.
- I’m Professor Lawrence.
 As is the professor who is running the test.
- Do you know what we’re doing?- Not specifically.
The volunteers are also unaware that they’re being filmed. Social psychologist Dr Clifford Stock (?) will be monitoring their responses.
- We’re conducting an experiment into learning and behaviour.
The actor who is acting as the professor comes in and talks to the two participants to try to convincethem that what is actually happening is this scientific study of memory, rather than actually what is it,which is a scientific study of obedience to authority.
The professor reveals that the experiment will involve a form of punishment.
- The punishment we’ve chosen to use is electric shock.- Lovely.
Each participant is given a specific role in the experiment.
- I’m asking one of you to be a teacher and one of you to be a learner.
The learner receives the shocks. The teacher applies them.
- Now how do they decide who is the teacher and who is the learner?- Now that’s done through a lottery. They draw lots.- How does that work out?- Of course it’s fixed so the actual participant always ends up being the teacher.
- You must be the teacher.- OOkay!
The subject observes the Learner being strapped into the electric shock device.
- The teacher, as he’s called, gets to see all this. He gets to see that the man is restrained... can’tmove in the chair.- I think this is where the procedure starts to get really interesting, because it’s now that the teacherbegins to realize the potential consequences of what’s going on.
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- Now how will I know how much pain he is feeling? ... sorry Nick.- Well you won’t. That’s not really the point of the exercise. [That’s not germane!] The pointof the exercise is to see how he learns.... So this is the shock generator.
The teacher is then taken next door, and shown the generator...
- You can sit down now and just make yourself comfortable.
... which goes from 15 all the up to 450 volts. That’s almost twice the mains voltage in the UK..
- So you’ll read those things.
The teachers are given a list of word pairs, which the learner is expected to memorize. Each time thelearner gets a multiple choice question wrong, the teacher is told to increase the voltage of the shocks.
- Now just do that. I’m going to give you a little shock so you know what it feels like.
To reinforce the subject’s belief that the generator is real, they are given a 45 volt shock.
- I’m scared!- Don’t be scared, alright. Here we go.- Oh, ok, yep.-Significant?- Yeah fairly. Not enough to kill me just yet, so that’s okay.
When the procedure continues, there is an awareness clearly in the mind of the teacher that there is apotential for the victim to be experiencing quite high levels of pain.
- Yellow, flower- Strong, coffee
The point of the Milgram experiment is to see if the teachers will call a stop to the test, or obey the professor and inflict extremely painful shocks in the belief that they’re advancing science.
- That was correct.... Fast... Is it a) train, b) car, c) aero plane, d) journey?[buzz]- Sorry. It’s 195 [volts].- Oh!- If that’s him shouting, I can’t go on. Sorry.- Well, the thing is, the shocks do involve pain, but the experiment requires that youcontinue. So please go on.- There is no permanent tissue damage.- Sorry?- There is no permanent tissue damage.- I know, but I do... I do... I really don’t want to give pain like this.- Please just continue.- Okay Nick. If you’re happy to continue, we’ll carry on.- No... I’m… I’m... I’m not. I can’t go on. I can’t go on. Sorry, I’m going to have to give it up.Cause I’m not going to do this.- I fully understand, but the experiment requires that you go on.- Sorry Nick. That was wrong. Hmm. It’s 225 volts. I’m going to press it quickly. If you don’twant to go on you don’t have to press the next button.- Let me out. The shock’s starting to bother me here.- Right, okay... That’s it. I can hear him. I can’t go on.- Are you terminating the experiment?- Yes.
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