Generations of students have been taught that Milgram’s famous obedience experiments demonstrated how easily ordinary people can be persuaded to harm others when instructed to by a person in authority.
But did Milgram’s research really show that?
Using original footage and new documentary evidence, this film suggests Milgram’s experiments demonstrate something rather different: that obedience to authority is a consequence of social identity.
The film is divided into three separate but interrelated sections:
1. Origins locates Milgram’s research in the nightmare of the Jewish holocaust, the capture and trial of Adolph Eichmann and Arendt’s “Banality of evil”
2. Research examines Milgram’s participants, methodology and findings, with a focus on variations in obedience, the agentic state explanation and its critique.
3. Social identity moves the focus “Beyond Milgram’ to Haslam and Reicher’s significant re-interpretation of his findings.