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  1. #1 TV Experiment Shows the Bentness of Human Nature 
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Human nature never seems to change


    In 1961, psychologist Stanley Milgram devised a now-infamous series of experiments. The goal was to understand why seemingly ordinary men carried out the demonic orders of the Third Reich.

    In Milgram's experiments, a volunteer was told to administer electric shocks to another "volunteer" when he answered a question incorrectly. The victim was an actor—there was no electricity. But with each failure, a more powerful the shock was ordered.
    When volunteers hesitated, an authority figure prodded them, starting with "please continue" and escalating to "you have no other choice, you must go on."

    These words were enough for two-thirds of the volunteers to administer what they believed was a fatal shock.

    When Milgram published the results, the response was outrage, both over the implications of the experiment and Milgram's methods.
    Given the notoriety of the Milgram experiments, you'd expect that, if they were repeated today, the results would be different.

    Well, you would be wrong. French documentary film makers recreated the Milgram experiment with some exceptions—the subjects thought they were taking part in a reality-television show called The Game of Death; they had an audience; and unlike Milgram's subjects, they could actually see their victim.

    The subjects were told to shock a man in an electric chair if he made a mistake. And now, as then, they complied! Eighty percent of the subjects administered the shocks, being egged on by the audience, who also thought it was for real. The screaming and begging for mercy didn't stop them. When the man in the electric chair keeled over seemingly dead, the hostess yelled, "You've won!"

    When the documentary recently aired on French television, the nation was aghast. Sociologist Jean Claude Kaufman noted that whereas Milgram only had "authority," the French experiment had both an authority figure and television's "manipulative power."
    While there's no doubt that television, especially reality television, can make you stupid, there's more at work here than psychology. What Milgram uncovered was something about what C.S. Lewis nicely called the "bentness" of human nature.

    When a subject in the French documentary says that he "wanted to stop the whole time, but [he] just couldn't," he's echoing what St. Paul wrote in Romans 7: "For what I do is not the good I want to do," but "the evil I do not want to do."
    Whole story here

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  2. #2  
    Good stuff about the true origin and character of our human nature.
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  3. #3  
    There's a reason why theologians use the term 'depraved' to describe the nature of Man. :(
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  4. #4  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    I read about this experiment in my college psych class, or maybe even in the high school psych class I took. I'm sure the french were pissed off about it, as it explained the behavior of french people who collaborated with the Nazis in WWII.

    But there are always people who think for themselves and refuse to participate in such things. Not all of those who resisted the Nazis did so for religious convictions, either. We all like to think that we could resist that type of pressure, too, and refuse to participate in such actions. The Nazis thought they were the civilized group, after all, ridding the world of the uncivilized and genetically inferior.


    I'm above all that kind of brutality. I'm going home to watch hockey.
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    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    I read about this experiment in my college psych class, or maybe even in the high school psych class I took. I'm sure the french were pissed off about it, as it explained the behavior of french people who collaborated with the Nazis in WWII.

    But there are always people who think for themselves and refuse to participate in such things. Not all of those who resisted the Nazis did so for religious convictions, either. We all like to think that we could resist that type of pressure, too, and refuse to participate in such actions. The Nazis thought they were the civilized group, after all, ridding the world of the uncivilized and genetically inferior.


    I'm above all that kind of brutality. I'm going home to watch hockey.
    The point that is taken from the experiment is that more people than not are easily led to do things that they themselves would probably find cruel and inhuman. We all would like to think that we are above this type of behavior but evidence points to the contrary.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  6. #6  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    The point that is taken from the experiment is that more people than not are easily led to do things that they themselves would probably find cruel and inhuman. We all would like to think that we are above this type of behavior but evidence points to the contrary.
    Watch The Stanford Prison Experiment. Mind you, this experiment is carried out by people who aren't properly trained but you get the point.
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  7. #7  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    Human nature never seems to change



    Whole story here
    The real horror is that this will be American Idol's new format. The ratings are expected to be huge. :D
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    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    The real horror is that this will be American Idol's new format. The ratings are expected to be huge. :D
    New format? I already feel like the guy in the electric chair whenever the show comes on.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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  9. #9  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    New format? I already feel like the guy in the electric chair whenever the show comes on.
    American Idol was one of factors that put me over the line and caused me to stop watching television. :D ;)

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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