The Potential for Violence in Germany


  • David Mark Mantell

    1. Research Center for Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Max Planck Society Munich, West Germany
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      I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Paul Matussek for his support and encouragement during the past 5 years and in the realization of this research. This exploration would not have been possible without the unexpected support of Dr. Clemens Münster, Director, and Dr. Hans Lechleitner, Producer, Bavarian Television Company, Munich, who generously made funds available for its execution and were indispensible in its organization. I would also like to thank Klaus Kundrat, Louis van der Borch, and Johanna Albrecht, who played the roles of Experimenter, Victim, and Reception Secretary, for their cooperation and patience during the long weeks of experimentation.


Three variations of Milgram's experimental test of obedience behavior were carried out in Munich, West Germany. Milgram's base-line condition, a model variation, and also a third variation which removed experimenter compliance pressures were performed. Large differences were observed under the three experimental conditions: 85% of the base-line, 52% of the modeling, and 7% of the “non-pressured” subjects administered all 30 shocks to their immobilized victims. Nearly all subjects were completely convinced of the genuineness of the experiment. These and Milgram's published results with American subjects are compared and an attempt is made to put the findings into an empirically justified perspective.