Wk 5 discussion 2 obedience and ethics

The Culture of Shock See Article In Resources

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Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s studies have gained a resurgence of interest. Can you think of recent events that might have caused this? I have attached an article from Scientific American. I apologize that it is upside down and you will have to print it to read it. 

Also, my most recent issue of Monitor on Psychology there is a short review on Milgram Redux. Researchers from Poland (we couldn’t get this approved in the US) replicated the study and found the same results – 90% of participants were willing to administer the highest shock level

Let me know what you think and how Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s studies might still find some applicability today.

Students need to contribute two substantive posts in this discussion by the due date indicated. The substantive posts must include initial responses and replies to classmates &/or Professor.

Response 1:

Zimbardo led the prison experiments and Milgram led the electrical experiments which led to questions about questions related to ethics in experiments. Zimbardo and Milgram shared a familiar goal: to understand how people are affected by the power of situations and external influences. Even though their methods were ethically questioned their experiments drew public interest as a real-world event. After the prison experiments were an escape attempt at San Quentin prison in California, three weeks later the Attica prison riot in New York occurred. According to Zimbardo, “all of a sudden prison became hot”, he became an after-the-fact expert on reform and how prisons dehumanize and alienate guards from any sense of compassion. Milgram was worried that might be susceptible to authoritarian movements, as, in the case of Nazi Germany, Milgram thought the wide publicity given with his results would reduce this possibility. The Stanford prison experiment and the Milgram experiment unquestionably holds an important place in the history of Yale psychology

When psychologists “go wrong” – Yale Daily News(September 28, 2011). Retrieved from https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2011/09/28/when-psychologists-go-wrong/

Response 2:

Students commonly assume that, even if Milgram’s famous experiment sheds important light on the power of situation today, were his experiment precisely reproduced today, it would not generate comparable results. To oversimplify the argument behind that claim: The power of white lab coats just ain’t what it used to be. Of course, that assertion has been difficult to challenge given that the option of replicating the Milgram experiment has been presumptively unavailable.

Because of the ethical challenge of reproducing the study, the idea survived for decades on a mix of good faith and partial replications—one study had participants administer their shocks in a virtual-reality system, for example—until 2007, when ABC collaborated with Santa Clara University psychologist Jerry Burger to replicate Milgram’s experiment.

Burger’s way around an ethical breach: In the most well-known experiment, he found, 80 percent of the participants who reached a 150-volt shock continued all the way to the end. “So what I said we could do is take people up to the 150-volt point, see how they reacted, and end the study right there,” he said. The rest of the setup was nearly identical to Milgram’s lab of the early 1960s.

At the end of the experiment, Burger was left with an obedience rate around the same as the one Milgram had recorded—proving, he said, not only that Milgram’s numbers had been accurate, but that his work was as relevant as ever. “[The results] didn’t surprise me,” he said, “but for years I had heard from my students and from other people, ‘Well, that was back in the 60s, and somehow how we’re more aware of the problems of blind obedience, and people have changed.

This was very interesting to learn about when this occurred back in 2007!

What do you guys think?

Response 3:

Stanley Milgram wanted to learn what effect authority had on disobedience. Many claimed that people followed orders because they were simply told to do so. Milgram wanted to conduct a study to see if people under certain conditions were to follow orders when told. A group of participants were under the impression that volts were sending shocks to those that were hooked up to machines. The test was put into place to see if individuals could continue to deliver shocks, while knowing that they were causing hurt on someone. One of the variable were , how well did the group do in following orders. The experiment was based upon the “learner” and the “teacher”. The learner was apart of Milgram’s participants, and the teacher was someone randomly selected. Th “learner” was taken into a seperate room, and the “teacher” was in charge of delivering shocks. The “teacher” was responsible for delivering shocks, whenever the “learner” got the answer wrong. Each time an answer was wrong, the shock was more severe. The “learner” purposely gave wrong answers, and the test was to see if the “teacher” would continue to deliver shock when told by the experimenter, and knowing that they were causing pain to someone. (McLeod, 2017).

McLeod, Saul. (2017). The Milgram Shock Experiment


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