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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Stanley Milgram on Conscience Vs Obedience

Thought for the Day: As the sad news about the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombings come in, many questions are still unanswered. Stanley Milgram was a Yale psychologist whose conducted research on conscience & obedience to authority. His findings sheds light on possible explanations for how young people lose sight of right & wrong when they submit to the authority of leaders or older siblings. Psychologists & educators must focus on ways to prevent what leads some people to be influenced by authority figures into committing violent attacks. According to Milgram, "The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority." How can we help teach people to resist the pressure to conform & to hold onto a sense of responsibility for one's own acts? Have our schools been paying too little attention to these issues as we focus on the 3 R's & standardized testing? I believe that we must help children & young adults learn to respect one another regardless of race, religion or ethnic background & teach them to settle differences without violence or physical harm to another human being. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

To read more about Milgram's work take a look at The Milgram Experiment on Simple's site


Unknown said...

Although I agree with your sentiment, I just can't see how this going to happen in the public school setting. There has been a lot of backwards thinking for so long; I find it hard to believe that they are going to change very much despite this or any other tragedy.

Barbara Lavi said...

Thanks for commenting Clayton. I agree that it will be hard to get public schools to change, but parents need to let their school systems know that it is important to them. Speak with your PTA about the need to address these issues. It is worth it for the future of our world.