Popular Science News | ‘Don’t Be Obedient to Authority Day’

Popular Science News – today has been designated Peace Day and below is a call for people to become involved in World Peace for just a day. So how does this relate to Science? The point is, how are people persuaded to harm other people?

The Milgram Experiment tries to explain this process. The experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of notable social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.

The experiments began in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Without going into great detail, in the experiment, highly intelligent Yale students were persuaded to give lethal electric shocks to people they thought were subjects of an experiment. The device they used did not actually give shocks, the actors pretended they were being electrocuted.

“In Milgram’s first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment’s final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment; some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment. Throughout the experiment, subjects displayed varying degrees of tension and stress. Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures.” [Wikipedia]

Perhaps there should be a ‘Don’t Be Obedient to Authority Day‘? Anyway, here’s details about Peace Day.

Be part of the biggest call for peace the world has ever seen.
For Peace Day 2012, we’re calling for a day of ceasefire and non-violence – a Global Truce: the largest reduction in global violence in recorded history, both domestically and internationally.

Sign it here: http://www.peaceoneday.org/

Company Overview
In 1999, Jeremy Gilley founded Peace One Day, a non-profit organization, and in 2001 Peace One Day’s efforts were rewarded when the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September annually – Peace Day.
Each year, 21 September marks Peace Day; a day for wide-scale community action, and a day for UN agencies and aid organisations to safely carry out life-saving work.

What have we done so far?

By 2007 – 100 million people have been active on Peace Day (source UNDPI).

General information

Get involved this Peace Day, 21st September 2012: http://peaceoneday.org/welcome/

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