In 1961 Dr. Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment relating to human behaviors and submission to authority. He wanted to prove whether or not human beings had a genetic makeup in their DNA that prohibits us from questioning authority and follow instructions. At the time Dr. Milgram was 28 years of age with a doctorate in psychologist and an assistant professor at Harvard University. His interest in arranging these experiments originated from his workings with Dr. Solomon Asch. Dr. Asch was a Social Psychologist who visited Harvard and gave lectures. Dr. Milgram was assigned to be Dr. Asch’s teaching and research assistant. Dr. Milgram became interested in Dr. Asch’s experiments regarding the human social behavior. Dr. Milgram continued to be enthralled with the question of how and why one human being can cause harm to others without consequential thought.
Today, we see and hear about terrible things happening to people who are harmed by others. Some of us wonder about the reasons that caused such attacks while others avoid altogether. Documentaries, articles and movies made by Dr. Milgram bears to answer this very question. “Experimenter” is a movie that informs about the life of Dr. Milgram. His life of how this experiment of obedience came to being. Written and directed by Michael Almereyda stars John Palladino, Anthony Edwards, Winona Ryder, Peter Sarsgaard, Jim Gaffigan to name a few is available for our viewing on Netflix. For those who are science majors or just interested in science with human behaviors would enjoy this movie, because of the thoughts it evokes.
Also the movie points out that Dr. Milgram was constantly fixated on the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis. Dr. Milgram continued to question why Nazi soldiers can afflict so much harm and damage to Jews who lived in Germany. Why would so many soldiers follow the orders of one (Hitler) knowingly without question? Of course, many feared for their lives that allowed self-preservation in which this behavior seems inevitable especially being ruled by that type of dictator. The fact that Dr. Milgram was so infatuated with this fact gives the audience reasoning of what sparked the creation of these experiments by Dr. Milgram.
While the movie was informative and enlightening it had a dark tone in that it depicts that we as humans beings are not totally our own. We will always have thoughts and behaviors influenced by what we take in. We will always have that inner need to be needed, wanted, love and accepted. Dr. Milgram’s says it better in quoting, “Human nature can be studied, but not escaped….” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3726704/) The rating that I would give this movie will be three thumbs up. Despite being a movie that makes you think and a good conversation topic you might want to hold off in watching with your children.
In 1986 musician Peter Gabriel, an admirer fan, recorded a song titled, “We Do What We’re Told.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200203/the-man-who-shocked-the-world)
The director wanted to create the “Rod Sterling or Alfred Hitchcock effect” by having the main character talk to the camera in points of the film. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimenter_(film))
Speaking of experiments, here is a picture of a test I gave my friend of which color makes her lashes look full and long.