The Milgram Experiment
Sociologist Stanley Milgram wanted to know whether or not Nazis were truly honest when they said they were “only following orders.” So, he decided to see how much authority impacts a person’s decision-making.
He hired actors to play experiment “victims,” then told participants that they had to press a button that would shock the actors. The “shocks” would increase with ever push. The people carrying out the experiment would continue to sternly order the participants to continue shocking the victims.
He wanted to see when participants would stop pushing the button. To his dismay, most didn’t. Eventually, people opened up about the emotional trauma they experienced as a result of their participation. Most were horrified with what deeds they were capable of.