I never had the pleasure of meeting Stanley Milgram, but in this video we'll hear from two social psychologists who came to know him well. The first, Harold Takooshian, was a student of Stanley Milgram's in the 1970s. And the second, Phil Zimbardo, was amazingly enough, a high school classmate of Stanley Milgram's in New York years before either one of them became a social psychologist. This video comes to us courtesy of Fordham University. Here are two of us in New York City, who knew Stanley Milgram in different ways. >> My name's Harold Takooshian. >> My name's Phil Zimbardo. >> And we wish you well in your conference in Canada, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stanley Milgram's classic work. Gina, Nestar, the conferees, we wish you well. We'd like to give you a brief perspective in a different way on Stanley Milgram. I would say that I knew Stanley Milgram as a student. >> The fact is that Stanley Milgram is mostly known as a larger then life researcher who did the obedience experiment. But there are about 50 of us who knew Stanley as a professor, and there are a couple things I would say about this. One is that Stanley, like Dr. Zimbardo, was a dedicated professor all his life— not just a researcher— from 1960 at Yale, until the very day he died, December 20th, 1984, chairing a dissertation. And those of us who knew him, knew that Stanley was even greater as a teacher then a researcher; his class was remarkable. The two things I would say about it, one is that he made the class come alive— social psychology was remarkably vivid with him. And we had small classes, so there really weren't many students that studied with him. But those of us who did— it was remarkable. The second thing I would say about Stanley is that he had what we call "wonders." He would do things in the class that no other professor would do, and we were always wondering why he did it. One quick example is, he asked the students to grade each other at the end of the semester. Other professors don't do that. And then he would sit there and read the grades out loud that each of us gave to the other, and we learned from that experience. Speaking personally, I learned a lot about myself just by taking his class. The final thing I would say about Stanley as a teacher is that we had a large gathering for him on his 49th birthday, because he was very ill. And we asked him, "What do you tell us students is the makings of an excellent researcher?" And he said, "Three things: courage, courage, courage." And I must say, that has influenced my career as a teacher. I'm so grateful to Stanley. Thank you. >> Thanks, Harold. So, I knew Stanley back in 1948, 1949—another era. We were students at James Monroe High School in the Bronx in senior year (Class 12H1, if I remember rightly), and Stanley was the smartest kid in the class— the envy of most of the rest of us. I think, as I remember, I think he got all of the awards at graduation, or almost all the awards. He was in Arista. But he was also in the stage. Even then, he had an interest in theatrical, and in filming, and people forget that later in his life he did a lot of film work. But I knew him first— I grew up in the Bronx. Here I am—the Bronx Tale— and I went to PS 52, a junior high school, and then from PS 52 I went to, I graduated, I first went to high school at Stuyvesant High for one term, Peter Stuyvesant, which was one of the elite schools in the Bronx, and then I discovered: there are no girls. I'd just been with three years with guys, and I had it. So, I switched. I finished my first year, and I went to Monroe, where there were girls—lots and lots of girls— and I was really happy. That was like sophomore year, and then my family moved to California— North Hollywood, California—because my father's sisters all lived there, sisters and brothers, and it was a disaster for me because I had always been a popular kid. As smart as Stanley was, I was the other side. I was the popular kid, not so smart. And I was shunned. I didn't understand that— meaning, wherever I sat down, people would move away in class, in the lunch room. And this happened repeatedly over the course of most of the year. I developed psychosomatic asthma, which became the excuse my family needed to go back to the Bronx. It was just a bad time. And the reason I was shunned, I discovered at the end of the year, was that kids thought because they had heard I was from New York and Italian, therefore I must be part of the Mafia, and therefore I'm dangerous. So they shunned me because they were afraid of me. And so this Bronx Tale, which is a play, a movie, says, "Is it better to be feared or loved?" Well, if you're in the Mafia, you'd rather be feared, but I would rather be loved. So, the important point is that I went then back to James Monroe High School for my senior year. This is 1948, 49, 49 into 50, and I met this smart little kid, Stanley Milgram, and he was the person who wrote the little blurbs in the yearbook, that was his job, and so he was asking me about myself, to describe. So, I describe the situation. I said, "You know, I don't understand, because I'd always been a popular kid and now, within three months of getting into James Monroe High School, I was elected by the senior class as the most popular boy in the class— James Monroe, my equivalent was pretty Janey Monroe. And how could it be that— how could I be shunned, ignored, rejected, excluded a few months earlier, and now the most popular?" And Stanley said, "It's the situation—it's not you." Which is curious because this is the start of being situationist. And then, the other thing that was amazing was, even at that young age— we were like 16, 17— he was really ahead of his time, and being concerned about social issues. That is, in a very personal way he was concerned could the Holocaust happen again in America? Could he and his family end up in a concentration camp? And of course, people said, no, that's Nazi Germany— that we're not that kind of people, could never happen here. And to his credit, he'd say, "How do you know? How can you be so sure? Don't you think they would have said the same thing in 1939 as you're saying now?" And essentially, his basic message was, has been, how do you know what you would do? How can you predict with certainty what you would do in a new situation unless you are in the situation? Because when you're outside of the situation looking in, it's easy to make proscriptive judgments— I'm not that kind of person, we're not the kind of people who would do this, and so essentially, Milgram's research really put ordinary people in a new situation— a situation where in the role of teacher, they had this enormous power over their student. Now, they were in a chain of command where authority had power over them, but they had the execution power over their student. And the Stanford prison study which then followed in the next decade was a similar thing, where guards were given total power over prisoners. And then the point is, how did they use that power? Well, they abused the power. And that's what I call evil: the intentional use and abuse of power to harm, to hurt, other people. Now, the last story I want to mention is I finished the Stanford Prison Experiment in August 20th, 1971. And in those days at the American Psychological Association, it was on Labor Day (I'm not sure where it was— somehow, I remember Canada). Anyway, I was supposed to give a talk about something that I was doing. It was— I'm not even sure what the topic was. And at the end of the talk, I said I've saved five minutes because I really have to share something we've just done. I've just done this study, the Stanford Prison Experiment. And I had a few slides I put up. And I just described—we haven't even analyzed the data—but clearly, what we're seeing is that in a very short time, good boys are abusing other boys only because they're in a role, and the role is in a situation, and the situation is in the setting. And I said, "I hope to be able to present next year a fuller version of the study." And Stanley came over, and he was not a very emotional guy, and he embraced me. And I said, "Whoa, hey Stan!" He said, "Oh, thank you! Now, you have taken the ethical heat off of my back on your back as having done the most unethical study ever." [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> So I laugh, but he definitely was right, because in my experiment people really suffered— not for 40 minutes, as in his study. And then in his study, of course, they were told that it's a confederate. You really didn't hurt him. In my study people really hurt one another over an extended period of time, for which I apologize. >> [LAUGH] >> In any event, thanks so much. Thanks, Stanley, for all the work that you've done, all the ways you've inspired your students, your colleagues, and we hope if you're looking down on the good times, you'll enjoy.