Title Essay

1017 words - 5 pages

Milgrams obedience experiment is a series of famous social psychology experiments. The experiments sought to elucidate and measure the subjects' willingness to obey an authority who instructs the subject to perform acts that a person would not normally like to perform for reasons of conscience (Zimbardo, 2007). One of the Milgram experiment aims was to investigate obedience and authority, in the impact on a subject's ability to harm another person (Zimbardo, 2007). The experiment involved three participants. A facilitator and an actor who played a volunteer, then a subject, who voluntarily agreed to participate. The actor and the subject were then assigned different roles in the experiment trough a draw, one as a teacher and one as a learner. The draw was arranged so that the subject always came to be the teacher, and so the subject always had the impression that he and the actor had the same voluntary status. Milgram then separated the teacher and the learner using a wall. Then the teacher was told to give the student questions, and with each wrong answer the teacher would administer a shock which strength would increase for every wrong answer. As the voltage of the shocks was increased, the learner complained more vociferously and eventually became silent. The longer the test went on more of the subjects requested to abort and see how the learner was doing, but was then persuaded by the facilitator to continue. The majority of the subjects came to the stage of distributing lethal shock. What they did not know was that the screams and pleads of stopping from the other side was just recorded voices (Milgram, 1963).
Consequently taking a look through the moral ocular one can immediately note that there are questionable elements in the execution of this study. Milgrams provoked reactions from the various victims resulted in several cases of stress and remorse, as experiment participants were not informed of the whole content of the experiment until afterwards (Svensson, 2012). Hence, not giving the subjects an opportunity to understand the nature of the experiment, contradicts the ethical fundamentals stated by the BPS code of conduct, thus we can establish that Milgrams experiments from an ethical point of view is questionable in many aspects (BPS, 2009).
As aforementioned the main intention with Milgrams experiments was to explore the concept of obedience and its relation to authorities when tested (Zimbardo, 2007). Another famous experiment conducted with a similar purpose was Zimbardos, Stanford Prison experiment (Svensson, 2012). The purpose of the experiment was to study how people behave in captivity and how social roles affect one's behaviour. Likewise to Milgrams experiment the subjects got divided into different groups, one authoritarian, prison guards and one inferior group prisoners (Svensson, 2012). The group of volunteers were placed in a fictional prison, built for the experiment although totally realistic with all the...

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