Ethical Implications & Issues of the Milgram Experiment
The following ethical concerns with the Milgram experiment are related to deception, participant protection, and the right to withdraw. Because the volunteers were persuaded to believe they were giving shocks to actual individuals, the experiment was ruled unethical.
The Milgram experiment has several ethical implications. First, this experiment demonstrates that human beings are easily manipulated. Because they are easily led to obey orders, people can easily be fooled. This experiment was not a natural experiment because most of the participants were unaware of its deception. Nevertheless, this experiment proves that humans quickly follow instructions. While 84% of the participants were unaffected by the experiment, the teachers of the class who conducted it did not know that it was a fake experiment. Different social and religious groups have condemned this experiment.
Stanford Prison Experiment
The ethical issues surrounding the Stanford Prison Experiment are vast. The experiment was designed to explore why correctional officers treat their prisoners brutally. The prisoners were exposed to stress, humiliation, and psychological damage; some even ripped their uniforms in less than two days. The guards retaliated with fire extinguishers. In addition, the prisoners were continuously harassed by guards, who took frequent head counts and called prisoner numbers when they were in line.
The Stanford Prison Experiment was controversial, as its participants reported distress and mental trauma. Unfortunately, researcher Philip Zimbardo failed to listen to the participants’ stories and acted as if they were prisoners. This led to many ethical issues, such as his failure to protect the health of his subjects. Because of these ethical issues, the experiment has become the subject of numerous critiques. Today, ethics commissions pre-approve psychological experiments to ensure that subjects’ rights and welfare are protected.
The experiment is not the only controversial experiment in the history of psychology. The experiment, conducted at Stanford University, was a psychological study designed to see how correctional officers and prisoners respond to powerlessness. Zimbardo sought to investigate the reactions of the correctional officers and prisoners to the powerlessness they experienced. In addition, this experiment was exploratory to demonstrate that the prison environment can loosen social and moral values and even change prisoners’ behavior.
There are several other ethical problems associated with the Stanford Prison Experiment. The study was supposed to last two weeks but was ended prematurely due to violent guards and the emotional breakdown of the prisoners. Furthermore, a Stanford Ph.D. student, Christina Maslach, interfered with the experiment, conducting interviews with guards and prisoners. This result prompted the prison to reexamine its ethics. It also highlights how important it is to evaluate experiments properly before the public sees them.
Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments
A study by psychologist Stanley Milgram has raised many ethical issues related to psychological experiments. While many participants in the original experiment had no choice, some did, which made the experiment’s results questionable. Nonetheless, these experiments have consistently reproduced the results. Furthermore, a recent review of obedience studies found that Milgram’s results were still valid despite the changes. For example, researchers replicated Milgram’s classic obedience experiment in a new study. They even made specific changes, such as lowering the maximum shock level from the original 450 volts and carefully selected subjects to avoid adverse reactions.
The most famous obedience experiment in social psychology is Stanley Milgram’s. Participants were naive volunteers and were given electric shocks if they failed to complete a memory test. The experiment showed that despite these risks, most subjects were willing to comply with the test instructions. Moreover, Milgram concluded that even in cases when subjects failed to complete the tests, they obeyed the instructions given by the teachers. These experiments have generated considerable interest and scholarly debates and continue to garner today’s interest.
Some critics of Stanley Milgram’s experiments cite severe ethical issues associated with the study. Some argue that Milgram’s experiment violated research ethics, and others say that the results are not based on actual data. Yet, Milgram’s experiments have had a lasting impact on psychology and society. However, there is a need for further research. Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments are controversial but remain a landmark in psychology.
Participants’ deductive reasoning about Milgram’s intent
Although Milgram’s research on obedience in the Nazi era was groundbreaking, the experiment has a flaw: participants are not required to think critically about their intentions. In his 1965 paper, participants were asked to predict whether Milgram’s purpose was to provoke destructive obedience, a conclusion that turned out to be unjust. The findings of this experiment suggest that the APA’s ethics rules do not apply to the case of obedience, which Milgram had intended to explore.
Violations of modern-day ethical principles
The Milgram experiment violated several modern-day ethical principles. For one thing, participants were deceived into believing that they were shocking a natural person. Then, after the experiment, participants were interviewed, and 83.7% felt happy about participating. Only 1.3% regretted participating. It is therefore essential to consider the ethical implications of Milgram’s experiment. Violations of modern-day ethical principles in the Milgram experiment continue to be debated.
The Milgram experiment was made more relevant as the world faced the Second World War. American war crimes in Vietnam and the effects of daily death on young men prompted questions about the ethics of Milgram’s experiment. These questions were then further raised by the Mai Lai massacre. Moreover, this event made the Milgram experiment relevant to the issues raised by the Mai Lai massacre. While the experiment is still controversial, it remains a fascinating example of the human mind.
Regarding the Milgram experiment, it is hard to find fault with the work Zimbardo and colleagues did. While Zimbardo’s IRB failed to identify conflict of interest among participants, the BBC News replication was performed without ethical approval and suffered a little backlash. Moreover, the Burger (2009) study is based on Milgram’s and could be a valuable model for other similar studies.
In addition to exploiting subjects’ anxiety levels, the experiment also violated modern ethical principles. By putting these subjects under social pressure, Milgram imposes undue influence and takes advantage of an underprivileged group. Furthermore, these experiments are incompatible with the principles of beneficence, which demand fair distribution of benefits and risks. Justice also prohibits the unfair treatment of one group at the expense of another.