Shocking revelation: Santa Clara University professor mirrors famous torture study
Replicating one of the most controversial behavioral experiments in history, a Santa Clara University psychologist has found that people will follow orders from an authority figure to administer what they believe are painful electric shocks.
More than two-thirds of volunteers in the research study had to be stopped from administering 150 volt shocks of electricity, despite hearing a person's cries of pain, professor Jerry M. Burger concluded in a study published in the January issue of the journal American Psychologist.
"In a dramatic way, it illustrates that under certain circumstances people will act in very surprising and disturbing ways,'' said Burger.
The study, using paid volunteers from the South Bay, is similar to the famous 1974 "obedience study'' by the late Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram.