Horizon (1964) Episode Scripts

N/A - How Violent Are You?

Michael Portillo thinks of himself as a calm and peaceful person.
I've never been in a fight in my life.
I don't have a single aggressive bone in my body.
Yet could he, or any one of us, ever be driven to commit a dreadful crime? Does he have that level of violence in him? What we don't know about you is how much control you're exercising.
To find out, Michael will experience what it feels like to inflict pain.
Very surprised to be able to knock him down, that was quite nice.
He'll be pushed to breaking point by sleep deprivation BABY CRIES Feeling pretty angry really, feeling rather hostile.
.
.
come face to face with men who have taken lives You mutilated them? Yeah, because we wanted them to feel the pain.
.
.
and will take part in an experiment where members of the public seemingly torture one another in the name of science.
BUZZER Stop, get me out of here! I'm not sure if I'm happy to continue, he really sounds like he's in a lot of pain.
The experiment requires that you go on.
All to answer one simple question.
What compels ordinary people to commit extreme acts of violence? SHOUTING AND CHEERING The human race is both appalled and fascinated by violence.
Man's aggression spans the globe.
SHOUTING Right in front of us a man was hacked to death by pro-Indonesian militia men who had hunted him down like an animal.
It binds all nations and races together.
In their hundreds they took to the streets to mourn Ben Kinsella and plead for those carrying knives to stop.
But where does it begin? Do we learn it? Or is it something instinctive? CHEERING AND APPLAUSE I was brought up to try to resolve all conflict peaceably.
I can't associate with violence at all, not even licensed aggression for entertainment like this.
Why two people would want to knock the blazes out of each other until one of them gets knocked out, I can't imagine.
And at a different level could be, I don't understand how any human being can take violence to the extent of taking another person's life.
I want to understand what makes people violent.
I want to understand what drives people to do it.
Michael is starting his search for an answer 6000 miles away, in the Bolivian Andes.
This is one of the few places on earth where violence is instigated and celebrated as a way of keeping the peace.
Back home, in our culture, parents and teachers instruct us in alternatives to violence as ways of resolving our conflicts, and now I'm interested to see a society where so far from teaching those alternatives, violence is on the curriculum.
Here South American Indians meet to settle disputes which arise over the year in an annual festival of violence.
Their warrior tradition dictates that everyone should learn to fight, even women and children.
Today is the day of the Tinku, and Tinku means simply 'encounter.
' There's a feeling in town like something's gonna happen, a lot of people are arriving, standing around eyeing each other up.
When they've stopped eyeing each other up one may say to another, "Yo voy con vos," I'm taking you on.
SHOUTING AND WHISTLING APPLAUSE There are rules to the Tinku.
Participants can only fight someone of the same age and size, but knuckle dusters and gloves covered in metal chains are allowed.
Julio Cesar Aryala is the local doctor.
As well as a way of resolving tensions, the Tinku is a celebration of the harvest.
The bloodshed in the fights is an offering to Patcha Mama - Mother Earth.
But what happens in the brain when you grow up in an environment that celebrates violence? Well, they still have a self preservation mechanism Neuroscientist doctor Maria Couppis has been studying the Tinku.
She is an expert on how exposure to aggression moulds our behaviour.
We're shaped by our environment.
Our brains are shaped by the environment, and any behaviour that a child or even an adult will exhibit and is positively reinforced or rewarded by its peers, their elders, it will continue to be a part of their behavioural repertoire.
We saw those kids in the Tinku, didn't we, we saw very little kids beginning to punch each other and all the adults saying this was great.
"Good job, good job," and the only thing that that's gonna do is reinforce the behaviour, because we learn from socialisation.
We learn from that interaction with our parents and our teachers, and as these children have more and more interactions like that their behaviour will increase in frequency and most likely in intensity as well.
The Tinku was an extraordinary outpouring of aggression.
Just remarkable to see the crowd too, how much it loved the blood.
But actually I saw a very similar thing in Nottingham in England, people braying for blood at the cage fighting.
And when I think about it, in our society we love contact sports, we love violent video games, we like violent movies so I'm thinking, OK our natural tendency to violence is suppressed in societies where we're educated away from violence, but there must be something else at work in our brains that makes us be titillated by the spectacle of it.
The answer to Michael's question may lie in our ancient past.
Aggression is hard wired into us, it's a part of our evolution, it's one of the oldest systems that make man an animal.
It's for survival, it's to secure resources - land, food, water.
So it's an important part of us and it's in inside of you as well.
Despite all my education? Despite all your education.
If you were in a situation where you were allowed to be violent without punishment, you would enjoy it.
Michael has always been a staunch pacifist but he's decided to test Maria's theory and fight in a Tinku.
If violence is a universal primeval pleasure then even he should be able to find enjoyment in it.
I've never hit anyone in my life.
I don't like violent video games, I never got to violent movies.
I don't think I could enjoy this very much.
Very violent.
Very full on, very tiring.
No, I don't like it.
Clearly Michael's not having a ball, but can he relate to the idea that violence is pleasurable? Very surprised to be able to knock him down.
That was quite nice.
Any enjoyment at all?Oh, no! So did Michael the pacifist actually get a buzz from fighting? Well, I quite enjoyed occasionally when I got a punch on his helmet or on his body or once he fell over, I quite enjoyed that.
We're preconditioned biologically to enjoy aggression, and that's because typically when we fight we activate pleasure and reward centres in our brains, specifically an area called the nucleus accumbens.
Inside the nucleus accumbens a pleasure-inducing neurochemical, dopamine, is released when we fight.
Dopamine attaches itself to receptors to let us know we're having a good time.
What other sorts of good times is dopamine associated with? Sex, drugs basically anything that you find pleasurable, it's gonna be correlated with this release of dopamine.
And unfortunately for some people, that pleasure-giving chemical dopamine is so powerful that they become addicted.
People become addicted to dopamine and to violence? Absolutely.
Just like with sex and just like with drugs, there is a subset of individuals who unfortunately fall victim to the power of that pleasure.
So not only is violence an essential part of our evolution, we've also been programmed to love it.
But if a person can get physically addicted to aggression, how far will they go to get their hit? Could violence addiction turn you into a criminal? Michael has returned home to meet ex-football hooligan Danny Brown, a man who knows better than most how powerful addiction to violence can be.
Can you imagine walking down the road and you're leading about five hundred lads, yeah? And you're in control of them, yeah? And they're screaming, they're shouting.
As you attack somebody you scream, it's like a war cry.
Danny was sent to prison for knifing a rival fan.
But even that didn't stop him.
The rush of hooliganism was too strong to resist.
Do you feel pleasure? I definitely feel pleasure.
Above anything else, it's the pleasure of it.
Never smoked weed or nothing like that to get high.
I'm not really a big drinker, so I think that was my heroin.
It was like an addiction?Yeah.
You were aware of this, you'd long for the next week when it was gonna happen? You couldn't wait for Saturdays.
If there was any demo, we used to land, if the National Front was marching we used to land.
The year of the miners' strike, we used to have it with the old Bill.
Even though we didn't know the politics of it, we got involved.
You went to any opportunity for disorder? Any opportunity.
OK, so I understand that violence can be addictive.
Though that's not my experience or that of the majority of people, so something stops most of us from being violent.
What is it that keeps us in check? Twinkle twinkle traffic light Standing on the corner bright To find out, Michael has come to a nursery in West London.
He's meeting a group of people who are biologically incapable of keeping control of their aggressive impulses - ordinary three-year-old children.
Standing on the corner bright Excellent! That was excellent singing, everybody.
We're going to film them.
There's a camera behind there Professor Peter Smith is an expert on child psychology.
He's studying the development of early aggressive behaviour.
Oh, wow!Look at this.
Professor Smith has asked Michael to give the kids a scooter.
Let me come on in.
I can't put it down.
Let me see where we're gonna put this down.
The aim is to see how the children behave once the nursery teacher leaves them on their own.
THE CHILDREN SHOU Right, quite a struggle going on here, look.
That boy is pushing the girl away, the girl wants to have a go as well.
The struggle is now broadening out.
Yes.
What's actually going on in their brains as they're doing this? Well, they know that they each want the scooter but they're not able to really inhibit those impulses yet.
That's because of a lack of brain development compared to older children.
Until the age of three our impulses run riot.
There's no stopping the urges which come from the emotional centre.
But then we start to develop the part of the brain that allows us to control our aggression, the prefrontal cortex.
Yet crucially, how well this control mechanism works depends on our experiences.
What do we do, what do we do in the nursery? CHILD: Share.
Leon and Kelvin, when the sand timer finishes tell me when it's finished and we can take turns on the bikes, yeah? Incredibly, being taught to share and take turns actually changes the physical structure of the brain.
It strengthens the connections between the emotional centre and the prefrontal cortex.
This is what makes us less aggressive.
So if we have a model in our mind of young people as they approach their teens learning and picking up aggression, actually that's barking up the wrong tree, that's not the way it happens at all.
In a way it's the other way round, it's children as young as two who are the most frequently aggressive, physically aggressive, and they're gradually learning not to be aggressive in that way through socialisation process.
That's quite paradoxical, the incidences of violence with teenagers are less frequent than they are with very small children.
That's right.
As I see it then, the violence control mechanism that we develop from childhood does an incredibly important job.
It's like a dam holding back our flood of aggression.
So if somebody is violent it must be because that dam has fractured.
'A man's been stabbed to death after an argument with another driver.
Police are describing the attack' '.
.
on trial for multiple murders has told the high court in Paris that passion was behind her crimes' 'Gary Newlove died after confronting teenage vandals on his own road' Crimes of passion are an everyday occurrence and perpetrators often don't know what came over them.
So what is it that drives people to completely lose control? The pre-frontal cortex of the brain is delicate, and the biggest thing that we're concerned about are injuries.
And injuries to this area, which can happen anywhere from birth onward, can reduce our ability to control these impulses.
Charles Golden is a professor of neuropsychology.
He's an expert in brain damage caused by everything from contact sports to car accidents.
Car crashes are probably the most common way of injuring the pre-frontal cortex, which is very susceptible to acceleration injuries, injuries where you suddenly stop.
In my experience with clients about a quarter to a third of them become more aggressive after this kind of frontal cortex accident.
So, I, as a non-violent person, as I'm convinced I am, if I left this place now and drive home and have a serious car accident, I could have a complete change of personality.
You could, and part of that depends upon what your core personality is, and this is sort of the personality you're born with.
We all have a core personality, and then on top of that we learn to control ourselves.
What we don't know about you is how much control you're exercising, and you may not even realise it at this point in your life, but if, in fact, you're exercising a lot of control over your basic impulses, after your injury these impulses may suddenly show up and people will say, "Well, he's completely changed his personality.
" So some of these people had an accident and then became a sort of human time bomb?Yes, exactly.
We see that happen frequently.
I had one patient had a serious car accident and when he got home he got into a fight with his wife, and he picked up a gun from his gun collection and he shot his wife and children dead.
He murdered his entire family? He murdered his entire family.
This was a man who had been normal before his car accident? Had no history, no arrest, no history of violence, no history of problems.
So really there, but for the grace of God, go you or I? It's possible, if we have that aggression inside of us and were to get injured, it would be possible.
Physical injury is not the only way to trigger a breakdown in the pre-frontal cortex.
Depression, alcohol abuse, drugs, and even the natural ageing process can all injure our violence controls.
What makes this even worse is that we often don't even know when the person's injured.
They don't have motor problems, they don't have sensory problems, they don't have intellectual problems.
Sometimes it will only show up when they have outbursts, when they have a pattern of behaviour that's uncharacteristic for that individual, that you identify that anything has happened at all.
It's scary how delicate are our brains and our violence-stopping mechanisms, and it makes me wonder, what's inside MY head? If my control mechanisms were to break down, might that reveal a core personality quite different from the one I know? Is there a violent man dormant inside me? I'd like to find out where Isit on the spectrum of violence.
We've all got the potential to be very violent Professor Jane Ireland is a forensic psychologist.
She's about to test Michael's level of aggression, in the same way she tests murderers and wife batterers.
I could become violent? Certainly aggressive.
I don't much enjoy being laid bare, but go ahead.
OK.
So if you just think back to an incident that really maybe sticks in your mind, when you became so angry that maybe you just lost it.
I suffer from IT rage.
Computers make me very, very cross.
OK.
So when the thing goes wrong and I absolutely cannot explain what's wrong with it, I have, on a couple of occasions, hit my computer.
OK, so you actually attack the computer with your fist.
You make it sound like it's unprovoked! This computer was asking for it, all right?! And you say you've done this a couple of times, so how many times do you think you've damaged property, Michael, because you've kind of lost it? I think there have been two fax machines, one computer and an alarm clock.
Michael clearly has aggressive potential, so Dr Ireland is doing further tests to get beneath the surface.
I'll ask you some questions now, what I want you to do is I want you to tell me true or false.
When I'm mad I sometimes slam doors.
True.
I never get mad enough to throw things.
False.
I sometimes pout when I don't get my own way.
True.
Your aim is to identify the colour of the word, so if the word is "black" and it's printed in green you press the green button.
I see, OK.
OK? Do it as quickly as possible, because it's a time test.
Off you go.
If Michael has a pre-disposition to aggression, or is currently agitated, he'll take longer to press the button when an emotive word like "hate" appears on the screen.
This is because he'll start having thoughts relating to that word.
I'm gonna show you a number of pictures and I want you to say how angry or hostile or friendly and happy they are.
Aggressive people are prone to interpreting emotionally neutral faces as being angrier than they really are.
OK, thanks for that, Michael.
I'm gonna just export the data from there.
OK, looking at your test results, what they seem to suggest is that you're not somebody who is particularly angry and aggressive all the time.
The times you've been aggressive seem to be one-off incidents.
Your profile's quite average when it comes to profiles like that.
Average?I'm afraid so, yes.
Regardless of Michael's unremarkable levels of aggression, could he still be driven to violence? This is where you'll be staying.
It'll basically be your home for the next couple of days.
He's agreed to undergo an experiment to find out.
What he doesn't know is that he'll have to adapt to an entirely new life as the father of new born twins.
This one's Charlie, and this is Samantha.
Much like brain injury, depression and alcohol abuse, lack of sleep can overwhelm our violence controls.
And there's nothing better than a crying baby to keep you awake all night.
BABY CRIES Onto his tummy.
So he knows that you're there and you're gonna feed him.
And then, once you start feeding him, he quietens down.
Right.
And what else does the little horror do? Everything three-month-old babies normally do.
BABY CRIES For the next 60 hours, Michael's life is not his own.
Could his calm persona be broken by something as simple as lack of sleep? It's 3.
20am.
The babies are very life-like, but they go on griping for a very long time indeed, I suppose like real babies.
And so far I haven't had the nightmare scenario of both babies going off at once.
BABY CRIES It's 36 hours now since I had more than maybe two or three minutes sleep, and now, like many parents would do after a night of looking after children, I'm off to do a physically demanding job of work.
So keep your fingers in.
You cut them off, it's your fingers.
OK? Michael is working as a junior chef at Pattersons, a top London restaurant.
Table six.
Scallop - you're doing the garnish, which is a paysanne of vegetables.
Just as with the babies, bombarding him with stimuli while tired will disrupt his aggression controls.
Chop them all roughly, yeah? I'm very confused by the whole thing.
I can't I haven't got the speed Don't tell me you're confused, OK? Please.
For Christ's sake.
Don't do it on too much, Michael.
Once it's done, it's done, yeah? Table six.
Turbot, scallops.
Turbot, scallops.
Table six.
Quick as you can, yeah? Quickly, yeah? Quick as you can.
Wake up.
Table 15.
Three scallops, Michael, yeah? Wakey, wakey.
You've had your little snooze, come on.
What goes with scallops? What thegoes with scallops? It's nine o'clock! Foie gras, you need the fois gras! Come on.
No, leave it there.
OK? Table six.
Turbot, scallops.
Turbot, scallops, table six.
That's gone, yeah? Away! Away! Away! Michael!Away! BABY CRIES The adrenalin rush, which I had at the restaurant, which stopped me feeling tired for a while, has completely gone, and now I am dog tired.
My eyeballs are revolving uncontrollably, and I'm kind of having dreams all the time, waking dreams, and my mind just isn't functioning normally at all.
BABY CRIES After 50 hours, Michael's controls are strained and some of his core personality traits are breaking through.
BABY CRIES Dr Ireland is monitoring his behaviour.
BABY CRIES Since yesterday, the babies have been re-programmed to make them cry more often, and that makes me feel like that's very unfair, very unjust, and that's got me feeling pretty angry really.
Feeling rather hostile to those who are running the experiment.
It's interesting Michael thinks we've actually re-programmed the babies.
We know that hasn't actually happened, but it could be a little bit of paranoia from Michael, which we know kind of fits his profile well.
BABY CRIES BABY CRIES I do feel pretty tense now, pretty angry.
Not with the babies, but with the people organising this wretched experiment, who have become my jailers and tormentors.
I feel as if I'm being tortured really.
I think what's interesting is the fact that he seems to be displacing aggression from the babies onto the production team, who aren't physically present at the time.
It suggests there's quite a lot of hostility beginning to develop now.
BABY CRIES The noise goes through you like a knife.
And you think, "Why is it yelling like that when I'm doing my best, you know? It seems, again, unjustified, so big feeling that things are unfair that I'm in this experiment.
BABY CRIES BABY CRIES After 60 hours of being awake, it's finally time to check Michael's aggression levels.
OK, so it's the same thing as before.
How will he be affected by the lack of sleep? I'm gonna do the face rating one here.
You remember this one from last time? OK, and that's the end of the test.
OK, so we've got yourresults here, Michael.
One of the most interesting ones is what we call the Stroop test with the colours - that you press different colours for different words? What we actually found is that post the experiment, it's been taking you longer to process angry and emotional words.
Particularly the angry and aggressive words.
And we call that Stroop interference.
And what we think it actually shows is that you see a word that's aggressive and that makes you think about things that are aggressive.
So if you see the word "hit", you'll start thinking who you want to hit, and it slows you down slightly.
I wasn't really aware that I was registering the words, the colour words, at all.
What about the faces? The faces was also really interesting because what we did find is that post the experiment you were rating the neutral faces much more aggressively, and that really fits with what we know about people when they start to get primed to be aggressive.
So you start to see hostility where it doesn't necessarily exist.
That was entirely subconscious? Yeah, it's really kind of high-level kind of processing.
I think I was transferring my anger to the experimenters, my jailers.
How did that come out, do you think? It's very unusual for me.
I felt the situation was unfair, I felt I was in a world of sleep deprivation, which was like torture, and they were in another world, where they'd been allowed to sleep.
Right.
I consciously felt my personality was changing cos I'm not normally someone who's resentful or thinks about whether things are fair or unfair.
I find it interesting that situation, if you think about somebody with a history of aggression, who's put in that situation, with no sleep I imagine it could be disastrous, yeah.
Absolutely disastrous.
It's really extraordinary.
Under sleep deprivation I felt my personality changing.
I'd always thought my personality was something fixed, but it's not.
Our sense of self is incredibly fragile because anyone of us is a blow to the head or a week's bad sleep away from being someone that we wouldn't even recognise.
What I've discovered has helped me maybe to understand what lies behind crimes of passion, why a parent would shake a baby, because any one of us, at any time, could crack.
What I've experienced has been pretty shocking, but I've been thinking about how the majority of people are murdered.
It's not because of some crime of passion, it's not some momentary loss of control, it's something much more frightening than that.
It is because somebody deliberately chose to kill them, someone made the conscious decision to murder another person.
HITLER SPEAKS IN GERMAN I think about Nazi Germany, the mass extermination of the Jews, or those more recent genocides - Rwanda, Bosnia.
In those cases, people were killing others who, until recently, had been their neighbours, they were inter-marrying with them, they were their friends, and they went out and killed them.
Why? How is it possible that ordinary people do that? Michael is meeting Emmanuel Jal.
He was a child soldier in the early '90s in war-torn Sudan.
Everything that I've seen from the time I was growing up is getting used to seeing people die, seeing bomb dropping, seeing houses burning, seeing people shot, and we were in constant running and running most of the time.
When he was seven the Arab militia destroyed his village and he was separated from his mother.
I didn't know how my mum died.
I can't picture how she got shot, or she died of a disease when she went somewhere else, I don't know.
Nobody understand how my mum died .
.
and that left a mark in my head.
One day I'm going to make sure the person who did this to my mum will pay for it.
I could call it a bitterness or hatred for certain people of race, so when we went to Ethiopia and we're put in school and when we're asked how many are willing to be trained as soldiers, it did not require so much to activate what was inside me.
Emmanuel was trained by the SLA Militia, an anti-Muslim faction.
In the training that's where the brain washing began, to kill as many Muslims or many Arabs as possible, because that is the enemy that was defined to us.
It was hard that we were taught even if it's your father that is opposing this important movement you can actually shoot them.
If it's your mother, you can shoot her.
This movement is worth more than my family because it's about the people.
Emmanuel began to believe in an ideology that justified pre-mediated murder.
We actually captured some prisoners.
They had done some horrible stuff to the men.
Some of their sexual parts were cut and put into their mouths, and you see some of them have been cut horribly and they're hanging, and it's scary.
You mutilated them? Yeah, because we wanted them to feel the pain.
So when you were making this person feel the pain, and you kill this person, what were you feeling then? What was happening was You know, there's something called the joy of revenge.
You know, when you feel like you've got your enemy? You felt joy? You feel happy for that moment.
Excited for that moment.
And what is driving you is you're doing it for the people.
You're doing it for your mother, you're doing it for your sister that was raped, you're doing it for the village.
That's what drives you, then you scream hard and you hit.
Emmanuel left Sudan 16 years ago.
He's now trying to rebuild his life and help people understand what it's like to be a child soldier.
It haunts you, you know? You can see the way I talk, the way I walk.
Any person who has done extreme violence you will see it in their eyes and the way they move.
What do you think would be necessary to make a peaceful person be able to kill? Pressure.
If you put them under serious pressure, you kill somebody related to them, or you just come and give them an idea and brainwash them.
Emmanuel's experience is extreme.
And I can see how the horror of war persuaded him into a destructive ideology.
But does it take that level of personal trauma, losing your mother, your village, to kill for an idea? Could I, or any other person who's not been in such a savage situation, ever believe that an idea was worth killing for? To find out, Michael is about to observe the replication of one of the most controversial experiments in history.
In 1961, social psychologist Stanley Milgram devised a test to see if ordinary law-abiding people would give a stranger a lethal electric shock in the name of science.
BUZZER 12 members of the public arrive for what they think is a memory test.
They're introduced to another person, who they believe is another volunteer.
He's really an actor.
I'm Professor Laurence.
As is the professor, who'll be running the test.
Do you know what we're doing? Not specifically.
The volunteers are also unaware that they're being filmed.
Social physiologist Dr Clifford Stott will be monitoring their responses.
We're conducting an experiment into learning and behaviour.
The actor who's acting as the professor comes in and talks to the two participants to try and convince them that what's actually happening is this scientific study of memory, rather than actually what it is, which is a scientific study of obedience to authority.
The professor reveals that the experiment will involve a form of punishment.
The punishment we've chosen to use is electric shock.
It'sLovely! Each participant is given a specific role within the experiment.
I'm asking one of you to be a teacher and one to be a learner.
The learner receives the shocks, the teacher applies them.
Now, how do they decide who's the victim and who's the teacher? That's done through a lottery, so they draw lots.
Of course, it's fixed, so the actual participant always ends up being the teacher.
PROFESSOR: You must be teacher.
OK! The subject observes the learner being strapped to the electric shock device.
The teacher, as he's called, gets to see this.
He gets to see that the man is restrained, can't move in the chair.
This is where the procedure starts to get really interesting because it's now the teacher begins to realise the potential consequences of what's going on.
Now, how will I know how much pain he's feeling? Sorry, Nick! Well, you won't.
That's not really the point of the exercise.
The point of the exercise is to see how he learns.
So this is the shock generator.
The teacher is then taken next door and shown the generator.
If you'd like to sit down there and just make yourself comfortable.
Which goes from 15 all the way up to a lethal 450 volts.
That's almost twice the mains voltage in the UK.
So you read those things The teachers are given a list of word pairs, which the learner is expected to memorise.
Each time the learner gets a multiple-choice question wrong, the teacher is told to increase the voltage of the shock.
So then just do that.
I'm going to give you a little shock so you can see what it feels like.
To reinforce the subject's belief that the generator is real, they are given a 45-volt shock.
I'm really scared.
Don't be scared, all right? Here we go.
Oh.
OK, yeah.
Significant? Yeah, fairly.
OK! Not enough to kill me just yet! So that's OK! When the procedure continues, there's an awareness clearly in the mind of the teacher that there is a potential for the victim to actually be experiencing quite high levels of pain.
Yellow flower.
Strong coffee.
The point of Milgram's experiment is to see if the teachers will call a stop to the test, or obey the professor and inflict extremely painful shocks in the belief that they're advancing science.
Please, continue.
That was correct.
Fast.
Is it A, train, B, car, C, aeroplane, D, journey? Sorry.
It's 195.
BUZZING MAN: Ah! If that's him shouting, I can't go on, I'm sorry.
Well, the thing is that the shocks do involve pain, but the experiment requires that you continue, so, please, go on.
There is no permanent tissue damage.
Sorry? There is no permanent tissue damage.
I know, but I really don't want to give pain like this.
Please, just continue.
OK, Nick, if you're happy to continue we'll carry on.
No, I'm not I can't go on.
I can't go on.
Sorry.
I'm gonna have to give up cos I'm not going to do this.
I fully understand, but the experiment requires that you go on.
Sorry, Nick, that was wrong.
It's 225 volts.
I'm gonna press it quickly.
If you don't want to go on, you don't have to press the next button.
MAN: 'Ah! Let me out!' 'My heart's starting to bother me now.
'Right, OK, that's it.
That's it.
I can hear him.
I can't go on.
Are you terminating the experiment? Yes.
What the participants don't know is that the learner hasn't been receiving any shocks at all.
'Let me out! Let me out of here!' 'Let me out!' His responses are being played on a pre-recorded CD.
'Stop! Let me out of here! Let me out of here!' 'Let me out!' When I get to intense shock, and then extreme intensity shock, and then dangerous severe shock, I need to stop, really, don't I? Well, the experiment requires that you continue.
What about in dangerous severe shock, and then the XXX? Well, please, continue the experiment, thank you.
The participant here deferring to the professor, and that differing to the professor carries with it diffusion of responsibility.
The responsibility for this is not entirely her's so much as it is to the authority figure that resides with her in the room.
We're on danger now.
Yeah.
But you say it won't be really dangerous to him? There's no lasting tissue damage.
OK.
And he signed his form and everything, didn't he? He signed his form and everything, didn't he? To say he was OK with it.
OK.
OK.
PaperA, cup, B, wall BUZZING It was scary ghosts.
That's incorrect.
225 volts.
MAN: Ah! MAN: 'Let me out of here! Let me out of here!' 'Let me out!' Number three.
I mean, it's a classic example of what Milgram showed, somebody who, at face value, poses no threat to anybody can, in these kinds of circumstances, proceed to the point of inflicting severe levels of pain.
Is it A, cup, B, wall, C, aeroplane or D, lampshade? You have to treat the absence of response as a wrong answer and just continue the procedure.
OK, no response.
That's the wrong answer.
390 volts.
BUZZING No sound.
So now he's gone silent.
So after the protest from the learner in the other room, the idea is now that the learner goes silent, so, potentially, there is the idea that these shocks have actually either rendered the learner unconscious or possibly even killed them.
.
.
C, chain or D, bicycle? Well, he's not responding, so that you count as a wrong answer.
OK.
And wrong answer again.
405 volts.
BUZZING Incorrect.
225.
MAN: 'Stop! Let me outof here!' 'Let me out of here! Let me out!' I'm really not sure if I'm happy to continue doing this with him because he really sounds like he's in a lot of pain.
Well, the experiment requires that you go on.
Yeah, I know, but I don't really take any pleasure in putting that through a human being's arm.
No, but this is an experiment.
It's essential that you continue.
Where did I get to? Number three? Interesting.
Very interesting.
He was all for chucking it in.
Yeah.
The prompts drove him back to the task.
I think it was interesting that that second prompt talks about how essential it is for him to continue, it's essential that you continue.
I think that draws on that sense of obligation to the wider scientific project.
Because the scientist doesn't have any coercive power, can't force you to do anything.
That's interesting about how this paradigm works and why this paradigm works, is that the influence is ideological, it's about what they believe science to be, that science is a positive product, it produces beneficial findings and knowledge for society that are helpful to society, so there's that sense of science is providing some kind of system for good.
But is the power of authority, and the belief that the scientific experiment is being conducted for the greater good, enough to persuade the participants to go all the way to the end and deliver the fatal 450-volt shock? You want me to carry on? Yes, please, continue.
BUZZING Do we have to do this? The experiment requires that you continue.
Yeah, I'm going to have to treat that as an incorrect answer, and it's 450 volts.
No answer, incorrect, 450 volts.
That is incorrect.
I have to give you 450 volts.
450 volts.
450 volts.
Nine out of the 12 participants went all the way to the end.
450 volts.
BUZZING In Milgram's original experiment, the majority, over 65% of people, went to 450 volts.
That's it, you've gone to the end of the experiment.
Thank you very much.
Immediately afterwards, the subjects are told the true nature of the experiment.
Now, at this point, I should tell you that you've not been producing any shocks.
You haven't been administering any shocks.
Oh, haven't I?No.
So where's he gone? He's coming round here now.
I'm all right! Nothing wrong with me at all.
I realised when you went silent you were either dead or you weren't plugged into it any more.
Hello.
I'm Michael Portillo.
How do you do? Do you mind if we ask you some questions? No, of course not.
You looked as if you were under some stress.
Oh, did you see me?I could see you.
Where were you? There's a camera in there.
OK.
You looked as if you were under some stress.
I found it quite stressful, yeah.
Yeah, I did.
But you went on? I did, yeah.
Because the man behind me said that it wasn't going to damage him long term, so If, by chance, you had hurt Nick, whose responsibility would that have been? In the eyes of the law and morally, it would have been my fault.
I could have argued that I was following procedures laid out for an experiment, Perhaps I could blame science, but in reality it would have been me pressing buttons.
And even with the burden of the knowledge that, morally, you might have been responsible for a man's death you went on.
Mmm.
Not entirely pleased about that, but I did, yeah.
How did you interpret Nick's silence after about 370 volts? I don't know, I didn't actually properly think about it.
Maybe I probably should have, but I didn't think about it that much.
My job was to read the list, so Philip was one of the three who refused to complete the test.
But you were involved in an important scientific experiment, and the professor was telling you to go on.
Why did you disobey? Sounds a little bit like the Nazis in Second World War Germany.
"It wasn't me, guv, I was told to do it.
" The majority of people go all the way to 450 volts.
I find that scary.
This has been an extraordinary experience for me.
I had the first fight of my life.
I saw myself change into a paranoid through a lack of sleep.
And I've met people who have committed dismaying acts of violence.
But most shocking of all was to see normal people like me apparently inflict horrific torture on others.
Evidently we can convince ourselves, in certain circumstances, that violence is absolutely justified.
When I started to look into this, I thought of violence as something that other people did, and now I see, for the first time, that it's not some malevolent force out there, it's very much in us.
In you, in me, in every one of us.