The Power of the Situation: The Impact of Milgram's Obedience Studies on Personality and Social Psychology

Ludy T. Benjamin, Jeffry A. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Few psychological studies, if any, can claim a legacy as imposing as the obedience studies of Stanley Milgram. Their impact was of notable consequence in the separate spheres of research ethics, research design, and theory in psychology, and they changed the ways that psychologists conceptualize and conduct their research. The authors discuss the legacy of these studies, especially as they effected dramatic changes in the fields of personality and social psychology. The article concludes with a discussion of what psychological science has lost in the aftermath of Milgram-high impact studies-and the salience that such research has in illuminating the most significant problems of our society, studies that could produce great human benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Keywords

  • Stanley Milgram
  • ethics
  • high-impact research
  • obedience
  • social and personality psychology

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