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Stanley Milgram: Life and legacy

Stanley Milgram was born on the 15 August 1933. In the early 1960s he carried out a series of experiments which had a significant impact not just on the field of psychology, but also exerted enormous influence in popular culture. These experiments touched on many profound philosophical questions concerning autonomy, authority, and the capacity of individuals to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. They were the source of much controversy with respect to both what they proved and to how they were carried out. Follow the timeline below to understand their intellectual genesis, ingenious setup, and controversial legacy.

Headline image credit: Illustration of the setup of a Milgram experiment by Fred the Oyster. CC CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Recent Comments

  1. Calliope Woods

    Milgram’s experiments always make me wonder about the real definition of good and evil. How many people doing something objectively evil from an outside viewpoint felt they were doing good by obeying an authority figure?

    It gets even more interesting if you apply this thought when a religious idea of “God” is the authority figure.

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