10.15.14: Are Milgram's Torture Experiments Still Valid & The Gift Of Adversity

Oct 15, 2014

Ontario Science Centre: Milgram's Electric Box
Credit Isabelle via flickr Creative Commons

In the early sixties, social psychologist Stanley Milgram tested the limits of humans’ obedience to authority with an actor, an unsuspecting volunteer and a fake electroshock machine. On today’s show: the experiment that stunned the world and the repercussions Dr. Milgram faced as a result. 

Then, we’ve all heard the self-help mantra: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Turns out, there may be some truth behind it. A psychiatrist explores the benefits of adversity.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Psychology of Torture

  • “The Milgram Experiment” involved a knowing volunteer in a learner role, and a subject in a teacher role, who was instructed to administer increasing strong electric shocks to the learner for getting questions wrong on a test. Malcolm Harris is an editor at The New Inquiry and a writer. His article “The Psychology of Torture” appears at aeon.com.

The Gift of Adversity

The Beethoven Machine

  • The future of music is hard to predict, but if current trends continue, it will likely involve computer programs and electronics. New Hampshire composer Greg Wilder doesn't know what the future of music holds, but as NHPR's Sean Hurley reports, the Warren resident is hoping to build the machine that writes it.

Season of the Witch