An analysis of a controversial experiment with shock treatments by milgram

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An analysis of a controversial experiment with shock treatments by milgram

The war criminals of the World War 2 later revealed in the trials following the war that they were merely following orders and could not be held accountable for their actions.

The Motorist's Psalm

Their defense was based on obedience. Any rational mind obviously refuses to believe such absurd justification of the horrendous actions that occurred during the holocaust. Stanley Milgram, a psychology professor at Yale University, then conducted an experiment to find if these justifications of the war criminals in fact logical.

Were Nazis evil and cold-hearted, or was this a phenomenon that could happen to anyone in certain circumstances?

This was the question attempted to be answered by Stanley Milgram.

Salt (and sugar) in Food

Stanley Milgram Experiment In one line, Milgram wanted to investigate the effectiveness of power of authority and obedience. InMilgram put up a newspaper advertisement for male participants to take part in a study of learning at Yale University.

He handpicked 40 male participants aged between 20 and 50, whose jobs ranged from skilled to unskilled professional. Each participant was paired with another person, and they drew out lots to determine one of them to be teacher and other to be a learner.

The teacher and the learner were then taken to two different rooms right next to each other. The researcher took the teacher to the other room which contained an electric shock generator with a row of switches that ranged from 15 to volts.

Aim of the Experiment Milgram wanted to find out how far would people go to obeying the instruction from the authority when it directly involved harming someone else. The researcher dressed in the grey lab coat here was the authority figure not Milgram — actorswho was present in the room alongside the Teacher participant.

Milgram was also interested in if an ordinary person could have committed the similar atrocities as the Germans did in the World War 2.

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Procedure The teacher would then ask the questions provided by the experimenter to the learner in the other room. The teacher was to deliver a shock to the learner for every wrong answer, starting from the lowest — 15V.

The learner actor deliberately wrong answers for the purpose of the experiment. Since the shock generator was phony, the learner would simply scream and moan from the other room. The learners were to scream louder and bang on the walls after reaching the V level, after which the learner would go completely silent refusing to speak.

The experimenter was provided with four pre-scripted commands to prod the teacher when the teacher refused to give anymore electric shock. The experiment requires you to continue. It is absolutely essential that you continue.

You have no other choice but to continue. It is how we are brought up. The autonomous state — people direct their own actions and take responsibility. The agentic state — people follow orders or let other people determine their actions.

An analysis of a controversial experiment with shock treatments by milgram

Agency theory suggests that people follow actions when they believe that the authority is qualified enough to pass on orders. Also, it is important for the followers to know that the authoritative figure order giver will take responsibility for their actions. In contrast, many participants refused to continue with the experiment when they were told they had to be responsible for their own actions.

Critical Evaluation The Milgram studies were conducted in laboratory settings, so it does raise a question of whether or not it would be effective in the real-life situations.

Real-life situations are far more complicated than instructing someone to give electric shocks to people. But only one particular Shock Experiment was brought to light.The Milgram experiment focused on the power of obedience to authority.

There have been many controversial experiments in psychology history, including Milgram’s classic obedience experiment. Welcome to The All About Psychology Book of The Month page.

Only the best, fascinating and most compelling psychology books will be featured here. The participants in the most famous variation of the Milgram experiment were 40 men recruited using newspaper ads. she stumbled across hundreds of audiotapes found in Yale archives that documented numerous variations of Milgram's shock experiments.

The Most Controversial Psychology Experiments Ever Performed. Article. How Different. Stanley Milgram, a famous social psychologist, and student of Solomon Asch, conducted a controversial experiment in , investigating obedience to authority (). The experiment was held to see if a subject would do something an authority figure tells them, even .

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