Cheiron/ESHHS in Dublin: Day 4

Stanley MilgramThe first joint meeting between these two groups wrapped up with a final half-day of presentations. In the main auditorium was a four-part session on the famous work on obedience by Stanley Milgram and its place in the history of social psychology. In the early 1960s, Milgram led his subjects to believe that they were giving electric shocks to another subject in a learning experiment. Two-thirds were willing to give lethal levels of shock when ordered to by the experimenter. Talks were given by Cathy Faye (York U), Sam Parkovnick (Dawson Coll.), and James Good (U. Durham), plus a discussion by John Greenwood (NYU). All seemed to agree that Milgram’s intent to illuminate the actions of the perpetrators of the Holocaust were not met, and that this was, in no small part because the theory of SS officer Adolf Eichmann’s behavior put forward Hannah Arendt’s well-known book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), on which it was premised, was deeply flawed.

Nest year, Cheiron will be held at Ryerson U. in Toronto, Canada and ESHHS will be held in Bari, Italy.


About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.