Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View

Milgram, Stanley

Harper & Row, 1974

p. 92

We humans tend not only to hurt people we hate; we also tend to hate people we have hurt. In the famous Milgram experiment at Yale, testing ordinary people’s obedience to authority, and how far down the road of torture ordinary people would go if ordered to do so, Milgram discovered that ordinary people who had (to their own knowledge) painfully shocked another person (whom they thought was another ordinary person, but was actually an actor receiving no jolt at all, but pretended to be in great pain). “Many subjects devalued the victim, as a consequence of acting against him. Such comments as ‘He was so stupid and stubborn he deserved to get shocked’ were common.”