“Modern day Milgram experiment shows that people obeying commands feel less responsible for their actions”
By: Joshua Barais
Published: The Scientific American, February 19, 2016, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-nazi-s-defense-of-just-following-orders-plays-out-in-the-mind/
Level of difficulty: **
WATCH AND CONSIDER
· History channel documentary: The Nuremberg Trials https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9t2maZjV5k
· Benjamin B. Ferencz, former prosecutor for the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
1. Why did Eichmann use the “just following orders” defense?
2. What surprising conclusion did Milgram reach as a result of his experiment?
3. Acc. To new research, people don’t feel responsible for inflicting harm on others if they are following orders because……………………..(Two answers; find both)
4. Acc. to a study published in Current Biology, people inflicting pain on others as a result of a direct order saw their attitude as involuntary/ impassive/irresponsible/ submissive / aggressive
5. It can be concluded from the research at University College London that people seem to lose their………………………when following orders even if the outcome is unpleasant.
6. Both Milgram’s and Perry’s experiments prove that people feel ………………………….for what they do or say if …………………………………….
7. What was the purpose of Haggard’s second experiment?
8. Did the experiment mentioned above support or refute the initial hypothesis?
9. Haggard’s findings justify/ validate / support/ disprove/challenge/ the Nuremberg defense.
Before you write, access the following article and read it carefully: “Military orders: to obey or not to obey” http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm. When you have done so, write a paragraph or on essay on the following topic: “To what extent can the Nuremberg defense be justified?”
HOW NAZI’S DEFENSE OF “JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS” PLAYS OUT IN THE MIND; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This vitally important yet straight forward text tackles a very important issue: the famous Nuremberg defense. Many students of the current generation may be hearing about it for the first time but it is important that they do. The writing task is an argumentative essay.
1. To shift the responsibility for the deaths of millions of Jews to his superiors
2. Any human was capable of a heart of darkness ; OR, Ordinary folk would inflict harm on another person after following orders from an authoritative figure
3. They perceive a distance from outcomes; They feel disconnected from their actions
5. Sense of agency
6. Less agency ; they choose for themselves
7. To see whether the loss of agency could also be seen in the brain activity of subjects
8. It supported it
9. Challenge (it means to question)