In the 1960s, psychologist Stanley Milgram famously conducted experiments in a Yale University basement showing that people will apparently inflict pain on another person simply because someone in a position of authority told them to. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology have taken those classic experiments one step further, providing new evidence that might help to explain why people are so easily coerced.
According to the new work by researchers at University College London and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, when someone gives us an order, we actually feel less responsible for our actions and their painful consequences.
This is an interesting take on the fairly well-known Milgram experiment. Most explanations I've heard tend to focus on the role of the scientist as an authority figure. It's nice to see someone address how it feels to act under coercion, rather than of their own free will.