Saturday, March 29, 2008

Experiments Gone Wrong

David Berreby’s The Case for Fitting In in “The New York Times Magazine” is notable not so much for trying to make a case against nonconformity (that society as we know it would collapse if everyone marched to a beat of a different drummer is pretty self-evident), but for bringing up the fact that many academics are now (finally!) beginning to debunk Stanley Milgram and his “groundbreaking” behavior experiments – something I’ve been trying to do ever since I first saw Alex Gibney’s documentary “The Human Behavior Experiments,” which uses data obtained by Milgram and his counterpart Zimbardo to explore how decent, law abiding folks can do the most heinous things.

(Also in that issue of “The New York Times Magazine” is my Letter to the Editor concerning Alissa Quart’s When Girls Will Be Boys.)

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