Reasons of Mass Killing. Why and under what circumstances do people commit violent political acts and mass killings - Essay Example
Holocaust and Cambodian Massacre are some examples of such events. Violence in Abu Gharib jail can also be regarded as an example of immorality. Events like these have forced social scientists all over the world to understand why and what motivates normal human beings to commit such horrendous acts. Psychologists have conducted many experiments and researches in hope of unlocking the key to this mysterious negative, inhumane side of human beings. In this essay we will try to get insight on the behavior of people involved in the above mentioned events. An explanation will be sought regarding mass murder and political killings committed by normal people. Human behavior will be explored to find out the reasons for such violent behavior and in the process help of famous experiments conducted by different psychologist will be taken. Why People commit Mass Murder? It is important to understand at this point that how mass murders and political killings take place. In Holocaust the decision of persecution of Jews was taken by the German leaders like Hitler and Himmler. But the orders were carried out by German soldiers on ground. It is hard to believe that all of the German army was as sick as Hitler and Himmler....
The perceived authority of the source plays an important role on acceptance of the person. People tend to give in easily to authority and this was explained by Milligram in his studies. Miligramâ€™s Study on Obedience The experiment conducted by Miligram brought the worldâ€™s attention to the dangerous effects of authority. It was the first time when the world came to know to what extent authority can effect on human actions. In the experiment of Miligram (1963) participant was given the role of a teacher and a confederate was staged as a student (both were sent to different rooms). Then the teacher was given a shock from a shock generator to make him or her realize the real nature of the electric shock. The teacher was given a list of pair of words and he or she will say the name of the first word and will provide four possible solutions. The student will have to answer and in case of each wrong answer the teacher would increase the shock by 15 volts. It was eventually found that 65 percent of the participants kept on increasing the voltage of the shock till it reached its maximum limit, even though the â€˜studentâ€™ kept on shouting and banging their hands on the wall (Miligram, 1963). This study presents the effect of authority on normal people and partially explains the behavior of people involved in the Holocaust. Under authority a normal person can go on doing something terrible without thinking about his or her actions. Coercion and reward were jointly responsible for behavior of German soldiers because they were under the authority of their leaders and reward was offered (sometimes in monetary forms and sometimes in the form of approval of the superior) (Blass, T. 2000).
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