Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments

Gina Perry (Author)
Available

Description

When social psychologist Stanley Milgram invited volunteers to take part in an experiment at Yale in the summer of 1961, none of the participants could have foreseen the worldwide sensation that the published results would cause. Milgram reported that fully 65 percent of the volunteers had repeatedly administered electric shocks of increasing strength to a man they believed to be in severe pain, even suffering a life-threatening heart condition, simply because an authority figure had told them to do so. Such behavior was linked to atrocities committed by ordinary people under the Nazi regime and immediately gripped the public imagination. The experiments remain a source of controversy and fascination more than fifty years later.

In Behind the Shock Machine, psychologist and author Gina Perry unearths for the first time the full story of this controversial experiment and its startling repercussions. Interviewing the original participants--many of whom remain haunted to this day about what they did--and delving deep into Milgram's personal archive, she pieces together a more complex picture and much more troubling picture of these experiments than was originally presented by Milgram. Uncovering the details of the experiments leads her to question the validity of that 65 percent statistic and the claims that it revealed something essential about human nature. Fleshed out with dramatic transcripts of the tests themselves, the book puts a human face on the unwitting people who faced the moral test of the shock machine and offers a gripping, unforgettable tale of one man's ambition and an experiment that defined a generation.

Product Details

Price
$26.95  $24.26
Publisher
New Press
Publish Date
September 03, 2013
Pages
339
Dimensions
6.1 X 1.2 X 9.3 inches | 1.4 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781595589217
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Gina Perry is a psychologist and writer. She wrote the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's award-winning Radio National documentary Beyond the Shock Machine. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Reviews


Praise for the Australian edition

"Remarkable...Reading "Behind the Shock Machine" becomes an act of creative disobedience."
--"The Australian"

"There may be no studies of the twentieth century more haunting--or more revealing of human beings at their best and worst--than Stanley Milgram's work. And here, finally, is a book that illuminates Milgram and his research subjects in riveting, compassionate detail."
--Deborah Blum, author of "Love at Goon Park"

"[A] provocative magnum opus... full of new info and insights, written with a literary flair so engaging and absorbing that I found it hard to put down."
--Thomas Blass, author of "The Man Who Shocked the World"

"An intriguing tale about science, ethics and storytelling."
--"The Age"

"An absorbing account of Stanley Milgram, his subjects, and the continuing quest to understand what it means to be human."
--David Baker, director, Archives of the History of American Psychology
Praise for the Australian edition

"Remarkable...Reading "Behind the Shock Machine" becomes an act of creative disobedience."
--"The Australian"

"There may be no studies of the twentieth century more haunting--or more revealing of human beings at their best and worst--than Stanley Milgram's work. And here, finally, is a book that illuminates Milgram and his research subjects in riveting, compassionate detail."
--Deborah Blum, author of "Love at Goon Park"

"[A] provocative magnum opus... full of new info and insights, written with a literary flair so engaging and absorbing that I found it hard to put down."
--Thomas Blass, author of "The Man Who Shocked the World"

"An intriguing tale about science, ethics and storytelling."
--"The Age"

"An absorbing account of Stanley Milgram, his subjects, and the continuing quest to understand what it means to be human."
--David Baker, director, Archives of the History of American Psychology

Praise for the Australian edition
"Remarkable...Reading "Behind the Shock Machine" becomes an act of creative disobedience."
--"The Australian"
"There may be no studies of the twentieth century more haunting--or more revealing of human beings at their best and worst--than Stanley Milgram's work. And here, finally, is a book that illuminates Milgram and his research subjects in riveting, compassionate detail."
--Deborah Blum, author of "Love at Goon Park"
"[A] provocative magnum opus... full of new info and insights, written with a literary flair so engaging and absorbing that I found it hard to put down."
--Thomas Blass, author of "The Man Who Shocked the World"
"An intriguing tale about science, ethics and storytelling."
--"The Age"
"An absorbing account of Stanley Milgram, his subjects, and the continuing quest to understand what it means to be human."
--David Baker, director, Archives of the History of American Psychology

Praise for the Australian edition
"RemarkableReading Behind the Shock Machine becomes an act of creative disobedience."
The Australian
"There may be no studies of the twentieth century more hauntingor more revealing of human beings at their best and worstthan Stanley Milgram s work. And here, finally, is a book that illuminates Milgram and his research subjects in riveting, compassionate detail."
Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park
"[A] provocative magnum opus full of new info and insights, written with a literary flair so engaging and absorbing that I found it hard to put down."
Thomas Blass, author of The Man Who Shocked the World
"An intriguing tale about science, ethics and storytelling."
The Age
"An absorbing account of Stanley Milgram, his subjects, and the continuing quest to understand what it means to be human."
David Baker, director, Archives of the History of American Psychology
"
Praise for the Australian edition

"Remarkable...Reading Behind the Shock Machine becomes an act of creative disobedience."
--The Australian

"There may be no studies of the twentieth century more haunting--or more revealing of human beings at their best and worst--than Stanley Milgram's work. And here, finally, is a book that illuminates Milgram and his research subjects in riveting, compassionate detail."
--Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park

"[A] provocative magnum opus... full of new info and insights, written with a literary flair so engaging and absorbing that I found it hard to put down."
--Thomas Blass, author of The Man Who Shocked the World

"An intriguing tale about science, ethics and storytelling."
--The Age

"An absorbing account of Stanley Milgram, his subjects, and the continuing quest to understand what it means to be human."
--David Baker, director, Archives of the History of American Psychology