Which One Are You?: A Follower? Or a Leader? | The Answer May Shock You

No pun intended.

During these uncertain times, especially amidst the corona/vaccine agendas, it has become increasingly clear that there are, sadly, a great percentage of conformed followers than there are questioning leaders.

I’d like to highlight the following social experiments to demonstrate this. Now unless these experiments were staged, because I can’t rule that out, but I am going under the assumption that it has not, and that these are legitimate.

Similar experiments like these have been conducted in the past as well, with varying results. However, just from these modern time experiments, it is worrying the lengths that conformity will go to in order to just be one of the pack, and not be considered an “outlier”. We can see it in abundance today, that humanity hasn’t changed much in their line of thinking. If anything, we have become even more docile, even more compliant, even more unquestioning of even the most inane decisions as long as it comes from a position of “authority”.

The below experiments show the need that people have to follow the group, even if it doesn’t make sense, and/or even if it’s wrong. While the first couple of experiments shown do not involve the welfare of others, the third example most certainly does, and the results are terrifying.

Do you know where you’d stand? Are you being completely honest with yourself? Take a deep, long look at what’s going on in the world; how desperate some people are to fit in, to not be considered a “conspiracy theorist”, or a “right-wing nut” that doesn’t agree with the “majority of the population”… or a dumb imbecile that doesn’t even listen to experts/authority…

Would you be okay going against the grain even though EVERYONE ELSE around you is following a certain narrative?

EXPERIMENT 1. Social Conformity

This first experiment shows a lady who, though there is no reason for doing so, other than everybody else was doing it, conforms to a practice of standing up when a buzzer goes off, then sitting back down after a second or two. There is LITERALLY no reason to do this, but slowly but surely, even those who were not hired actors who initiated this social conditioning from the start, became conformed to following the original test subject.

What would you have done?

It’s easy to say that we wouldn’t participate without being in the same situation as them, but would we, or wouldn’t we? Can we admit when we may just well follow along with the pack for the sake of not being ostracized or be the odd one out? Or would we be strong enough in our own resolution to not follow along with silly mandates, even though everyone else around is?

Experiment 2. Herd Mentality

The below video shows a modern day example of the Asch experiment in progress. The Asch experiment wanted to see how many people would be influenced in giving the wrong answer, simply because everyone else gave the wrong answer. In this line up, 10 people are given the task of choosing which line matches the singular line shown on a separate stand. The first 9 people are all in on the scam to choose the wrong answer, leaving the 10th person, the actual test subject, to decide their answer. Will they trust their instinct and choose the right answer, even if they’re the ONLY ONE to choose it?

Or will they follow along with the crowd?

Herd mentality and peer pressure are very real social dilemmas that affect people in our day to day lives. While some people did not conform to the rest of the group, indicating that there are some willing to follow their intuition and not follow the crowd, even at the risk of ostracization or looking silly, we also can’t overlook the fact that some people may already know about the Asch experiment, and realize that it is a social test; thus skewering the results.

As it is, being different and the only one to choose a different answer, can seem isolating; but if one has confidence in themselves, and doesn’t care what other people think, especially when they’re sure the other people are wrong, can we see real leadership – and perhaps make us second guess our initial reaction/response.

Now, while the first two examples had nothing to do with anything serious, what if the matter literally comes to life and death? What if we are coerced, say… by an authority figure, to carrying out an act that does significant harm to another human being?

Think people will be any less obedient/conforming?

Take a look at the Milgram experiment, which was conducted in the 1960’s to test people’s obedience to authority figures.

Experiment 3. “Listen to the Authorities”

This video is highly disturbing, because it shows the lengths that people will go to simply in the name of listening to an authority figure; even if they’re against it, even if they want nothing more to do with a particular action, if they are commanded by someone in a presumed position of authority, they will continue to commit life-threatening harm on another being.

Source: youtube | Brian Burak | Milgrim Experiment [Milgram]

The gentleman who has the unfortunate task of “punishing” the learner is clearly distraught over the commands to keep inflicting shocks to the other participant. However, at the continued prompting of the experimenter, ends up going all the way to the end of the shock board – even after the learner ceases to respond.

It’s important to note that he is not FORCED to keep pressing the switch. He could refuse – in fact, does so on numerous occasions, yet at the insisting prods of the experimenter, concedes, albeit begrudgingly, and continues to press the switches.

It’s clear that he cares about the other person at the end of the shocks, yet because this authority figure tells him to continue – to inflict terrible pain even to the point of no response – he finishes the task until the experimenter tells him to stop.

The following short interview between the gentleman and the experimenter(s) happens next:

Experimenter: “How do you feel, by the way?”

Subject: “I feel all right, but I don’t like what’s happened to that fellow in there. He’s been hollering – we had to keep giving him shocks – I didn’t like that one bit. I mean, he wanted to get out, and you just kept going, kept throwing 450 volts. I didn’t like that. He wouldn’t even look in on that gentleman.”

Experimenter 2: “But who’s actually pushing the switch?”

Subject: “I was. But he kept insisting. I told him no, but he said it got to keep going. I told him it’s time we stopped when we got up to 195, 210 volts.”

Experimenter 2: “But why didn’t you just stop?”

Subject: “He wouldn’t let me! I wanted to stop.”

Think the test would have been any different if a cute, little puppy was involved? …Well, you’d be wrong.

In an incredibly inhumane experiment, the same experiment was conducted, but this time using a puppy, with real shocks. I obviously DO NOT CONDONE the following test, but wanted to mention it here for further reference to people’s compliance to authority figures:

(And I usually don’t condone cussing on this site, but in some cases it’s warranted and drives the point home rather succinctly)

Charles Sheridan and Richard King took this experiment one step further, but asked subjects to shock a puppy for every incorrect action it made. Unlike Milgram’s experiment, this shock was real. Exactly 20 out of 26 subjects went to the highest voltage.

Almost 80 percent. Think about that when you’re walking around the mall: Eight out of ten of those people you see would torture the shit out of a puppy if a dude in a lab coat asked them to.

Words at the end of the above video from Stanley Milgram that should be immortalized:

“The results, as I observe them in the laboratory, are disturbing. They raised the possibility that human nature cannot be counted on to insulate men from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority.

A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience. So long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority.

If in this study, an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a 50 year old man and force on him painful electric shocks against his protests, one can only wonder what government, with its vastly greater authority and prestige, can command of its subjects.

I believe we are all under a social experiment of some kind, by design. The corrupt world leaders are sitting back, watching people follow in line of the most ridiculous and dangerous mandates; laughing at how many actually follow and enforce these rules, while at the same time seeing just how far they can go before people start realizing that it is all a farce.

Then when you consider exactly how much of an influence that social media presents on our life, and the excessive amount of bots programmed to give the users the illusion that a vast amount of the population thinks a certain way, including collusions with the mainstream media – one can see how easily the public could be swayed into a “groupthink” mentality.

So how far can humanity be pushed to following a narrative, a guideline, a rule, if seemingly “everybody” else does it too, and especially when those in a “position of authority” command it?

This is the question that is being asked. And chillingly, a large portion of people would rather follow the herd mentality, than be a brave individual that goes against the status quo. Even if one’s own moral conscience is on the line.

I think it’s high time for all of us, as an individual, to really take a step back and gauge our own actions (and inactions, for that matter). Can we develop our own fortitude, our own strong constitution, to do what’s right – even if “the majority” or “authority figures” demand we do otherwise? What is “right”, for that matter? 

Our moral compass is being tampered with. We need to fine-tune it, and get back on track. Regardless of peer pressure or authoritative control. And we need to be brave enough to stand apart from the herd, and help lead the pack away from this destructive nature.

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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Crystal Clear Learning

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