Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to.
March 17, 2010 7:27 PM Subscribe
posted by phaedon (33 comments total)
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A French, state-run TV channel appears to be stirring controversy by airing a documentary about a fake game show in which contestants torture eachother, called "Game of Death."
Based on the well-known Stanley Milgram experiments
of the 1960's that, in the wake of Nazi Germany, sought out to measure man's willingness to obey orders.
"In Game of Death, 81% of contestants
went all the way by administering more than 20 shocks up to a maximum of 460 volts. Only 16 of the 80 subjects recruited for the fake game show refused the verbal prodding from the host — and pressure from the audience to keep dishing out the torture like a good sport — though most expressed misgivings or tried to pull out before being convinced otherwise."
Just to be clear, the pain inflicted is not real. But the contestants are made to think that it is. Clips: one
. Filmmaker Christophe Nick suggests that "[Future] television can — without possible opposition — organize the death of a person as entertainment, and eight out of 10 people will submit to that."
Related: "The Perils of Obedience"
by Stanley Milgram. And for a closer look at human beings committing unethical acts under particular social conditions, check out "The Human Behavior Experiments" (Part 1
, Part 2
) by Alex Gibney.