The dictators will be televised

1 minute read

French TV makes a game-show version of the famous Milgram experiment, all for a documentary about how easily people follow authority figures.

Milgram found that 62.5% of his subjects could be encouraged, browbeaten or intimidated into seeing the test through to its conclusion by delivering scores of shocks of increasing intensity to the maximum of 450 volts. In The Game of Death, 81% of contestants go all the way by administering more than 20 shocks of up to a maximum of 460 volts. Only 16 of the 80 subjects recruited for the fake game show refuse the verbal prodding from the host and pressure from the audience to keep dishing out the torture like a good sport though most express misgivings or try to pull out before being persuaded otherwise.
Nick says he got the idea for the project after stumbling across an episode of the French version of The Weakest Link.

I love that last detail. If the French host is anything like the British one, well, Nurse Ratched got her patients to do some awful stuff, too. I have to wonder how many of the “subjects” today figure out what’s going on; that’s a big potential source of positive bias on the outcome.