New study may shed light on why we are willing to torture
A new study sheds light on what might make someone capable of torture.
Santa Clara University Professor Jerry Bulger replicated the famed Milgram Experiment of the 1960's. Subjects were instructed to give a test to another person. For every wrong answer, the test giver was told to push a button that would shock that person.
The experiment shows that situations determine the way we act more than individual beliefs. Bulger says the findings shed light on extreme situations such as torture that took place at Abu Grahaib, the infamous Iraqi prison where soldiers were photographed abusing prisoners.
The key finding was that almost all the people who refused to administer the shock said they considered themselves responsible for injuries to that person. Those who continued most always said they did so because they were instructed to and the action was the fault of the study or the university.