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Stanley Milgram Library Exhibit, Conference Will Examine his Legacy and Influence on Law and Social Psychology

A new exhibit featuring the work of former Yale University social psychologist Stanley Milgram will open at the Lillian Goldman Law Library on October 11, 2013.

The exhibit will be broken up into three parts, featuring reproductions of his writings and highlighting connections between his research and that of current Yale faculty.

Part one of the exhibit will specifically explore the connections between Milgram and Yale University President and Professor of Psychology Peter Salovey’s work. It will also examine the parallels between the work of Yale Law professors Tom Tyler, Dan Kahan, and Tracey Meares.

Part two of the exhibit will feature “Milgram’s library carrel,” which includes reproductions of journal reprints and dozens of letters he exchanged with editors and colleagues across the country in the early- to-mid 1960s. Part three will spotlight the audio files of Milgram’s debriefing of a research subject.

In addition to these physical exhibits, a blog and paper guide to Milgram resources at libraries across Yale will be available from late September through December. The exhibit will be located on L3 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library.

The exhibit will lead up to the “Conference on the Legacy of Stanley Milgram,” on October 26, 2013 at Yale Law School. The conference is sponsored by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund and will feature an introduction by President Salovey and several discussions on Milgram’s influence and groundbreaking research. For a full conference schedule, click here.

Milgram earned his Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard in 1960. One year later, he began working at Yale and conducting obedience experiments that measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. In the study, participants were ordered to deliver increasingly strong electric shocks to another person who was involved in the study and only pretending to be shocked. The study revealed that 65 percent of participants were willing to deliver the maximum voltage shocks under order from the experimenter. These experiments were considered controversial because of the emotional stress that the participants experienced. Milgram later went on to teach at Harvard and then the City University of New York until his death in 1984.

The October conference is open to the public. Those interested in attending should contact milgramconference@yale.edu.