Welcome!

Welcome to my home page. This is my personal website, as distinguished from my official university website, which is available…

Welcome to my home page. This is my personal website, as distinguished from my official university website, which is available at this address: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/LabsProfile/Elms/PWT/.

Here at starcraving. com, you’ll find a wide range of content. You’ll  be able to read or download portions of two of my previously published books, plus assorted articles and papers that are not readily available elsewhere. The books are long out of print, and the original publishers have turned the copyrights over to me. Some chapters in these books and papers are of historical interest at best. But I think other chapters contain ideas and observations that are still worth reading; otherwise I wouldn’t put them here. For instance, I’ve posted the chapter dealing with obedience to authority, Acts of Submission, from my 1972 book Social Psychology and Social Relevance. This material, based on my work with Stanley Milgram, is unfortunately quite relevant to current news about torture and prisoner abuse in Iraq and  Guantanamo and elsewhere, and to news about other kinds of obedience to destructive authority in various parts of the world.  Also included are parts of a family cookbook that I put together several years ago, with recipes that are still worth cooking, and an assortment of my poems (mostly sonnets).

Personality Characteristics Associated with Obedience and Defiance toward Authoritative Command

Forty adult males, half having obeyed and half having defied authoritative commands to give high-voltage shocks to a fellow volunteer in a realistic experimental situation, were administered personality tests and questionnaires several months later. Obedient and defiant Ss showed little differentiation on the MMPI, but differed significantly on the California F Scale (p<.003). Significant attitudinal differences were displayed toward own father, experimenter, experimental confederate, sponsoring university, willingness to shoot at men in wartime, and other concepts, in patterns somewhat similar to "authoritarian personalities." Experimental validation of personality differences previously reported in association with measures of authoritarianism was thus tentatively demonstrated. Exceptions to authoritarian patterns were noted.