The Third Wave Third Wave


The Third Wave

Third Wave

I think that the teacher was a genius in the way the experimentanswered the question posed by one of his students on Germansbehavior during the Jewish Massacre without him giving the answer tothe query directly. Despite its cruelty, I think the experiment wasrelevant. In the beginning, it yielded positive results in terms ofincreased concentration and discipline on the part of the students(Ron, 2008). As time went by, the participants took it uponthemselves to enforce punitive measures against those who failed toadhere to the group’s rules hence, the students were acting justlike the Germans.

I think that the students were not following their conscience.Instead, they were following a higher power in the name of Mr. Jones.It started with mere obedience to their teacher and turned into acomplex process with both rewards and reprimands. However, thereprimands were too severe as they involved getting kicked out of theclass hence the students had not other option but to adhere to theset rules. I think that what happened in 1967 with the Third Wavecould be replicated with today’s students only that the issue needsto change to ensure that it is relevant in the modern world. Forexample, the German ideologies could be replaced with the terrorists’philosophies. If this happens, the experiment could yield the sameresults as the Third Wave whereby after a series of activities gearedtoward changing the mindset and enforcing discipline, theparticipants will end up being manipulated and brainwashed.

The article resonates with Milgram’s study on authority. Milgram,in his study of how authority influences obedience found thatindividuals obey out of fear of being reprimanded or a desire toappear cooperative. In the second day when the membership was madeoptional, none of the students left because each wanted to appearcooperative. During the Third Wave, Mr. Jones appointed one strongstudent to be his personal bodyguard to exalt his authority. Also,Mr. Jones selected two students and gave them the mandate of policingothers. This must have forced the students to act the way they didfor fear of being reprimanded.


Ron, J. (2008). “The Third Wave, 1967-Rone Jones.”