Psychologist: Stanley Milgram

"The Man Behind the Shock"


I went to Queens College in New York and got a bachelor's degree in political science. I graduated from college in 1954 and continued my education by going to Harvard University and earning my Ph.D. in social psychology. Unfortunately got rejected by Harvard for not taking in undergrad class at Queens College at first but that didn't stop me from doing what I desired.


I started off as an assistant professor at Yale in the fall of 1960. After that I was the assistant professor at the Department of Social Relations at Harvard from 1963-1966 on a three- year contract. In 1967 I became a tenured full professor at the City University of NY grad center.

Significant Accomplishments

I spent the years of 1959 through 1960 at the institute of advanced study in Princeton. My book Obedience to Authority was published in 1974 and it was awarded the annual social psychology award by the American Association for Advancement of Science. Obedience to Authority was also nominated for a national book award in 1975. My book revolved around my experiment; The Milgram Experiment focused on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience.

Theory of Obedience

The Theory of Obedience focuses on the idea that every human has the dual capacity to function as an individual excising his or her own moral judgement and the capacity to make their own moral decision based on their personal character. I asked the question "Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" (Milgram, 1974).

Background Information

I was born in august of 1933, in New York City to Adele and Samuel Milgram. I went to James Monroe high school and I graduated a year earlier. I'm best known for my controversial experiment on obedience conducted in the 1960s during my professorship at Yale. I later died on December 20th, 1984 in Manhattan, New York. I left behind two wonderful children and my beautiful wife.

Psychological Perspective

My experiments and my psychological perspective generally revolved around the respective psychological perspective of Socioculturalism. My experiment, regarding the Theory of Obedience, involved outside influences expressing pressure on the test subjects. I found that these environmental influences could convince people to preform actions that most would consider barbaric.
The Milgram Experiment 1962 (Full Documentary)