Many lecture room icons from decades past are looking tarnished now:
Social psychology students returning to school, and others interested in the field, should be aware that much of what they may encounter in older textbooks and oft-repeated lectures is shrinking under the weight of new evidence.
Take the famous Milgram obedience experiment, widely reported as demonstrating that two out of three people in North America would torture someone if ordered to do so.
The finding never sat quite right with me because most people I knew would have just quietly exited the situation and called the police. And sure enough, the data had been cherry-picked to emphasize the widely reported result. It suited the anxiety needs of a culture where academics worried that others would easily conform to an authoritarian government.
Here are some other results that, after the shouting died down, didn’t turn out to be what you may read in textbooks: More.
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