Obedience Experiment By Stanley Milgram

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In 1961, A psychologist called Stanley Milgram carried an obedience experiment. Members were recruited for the psychological study in learning. Members carried the role of a 'teacher,' which involves reading a list of words that tested a learner's memory. Each time the learner got incorrect answers, the teacher was instructed by an authority figure to deliver a shock. With each wrong answer, the voltage increased and went up to 450volts, even though no shock was really delivered. Increased shocks led the members to hear noises. Members believed that students were getting real shocks.

There are two reasons why people obey. One reason is that they visualize authority as being lawful and known as a genuine person. Another reason is that they may follow as they are being pressured to carry such things and fear consequences if they rejected due to maybe committing to something with no research(McLeod, 2017).

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The strength of Milgram’s study is that it was taken in a workroom and so it permitted authority figures to have a high sense of control. This makes results dependable as Milgram’s orders to make members follow his orders. Another strength is that members volunteered so had given their approval to take part in the study as they were paid to take part in the test which gave them a sense of purpose in the acts they were involving (leighanne1907, 2011).

Milgram’s study lacks validity. This is because it does not show authorities in different fields like teachers, police officers, and doctors. This study could be carried in many different ways. Another limitation is that the experiment is only targeted at white men and not people of different races.

In 1961, studies were unethical due to debated situations that have been raised. There were critics on most members were male college students. Many people felt uncomfortable when been told to carry tasks that were not within their intentions (What is psychology, 2018). It stated that the study was fake. There were no ethical guidelines for human protection and so authorities used their own judgment about whether their research posed an ethical problem and ethical questions were ignored (Blass 71). The experimenter deceived members who were made to believe that they were truly imposing pain on the learners and were purposely put in a position of high stress. Some teachers even believed they had badly hurt, or even killed the learner and caused anxiety. Milgram lied about the purpose of the experiment. While it was truly to measure obedience, he told his members that he was studying the effects of punishment on learning (The Ethical Dilemma, 2018).

As you can see the experimenter deceived members who were made to believe that they were truly causing pain on the learners and were purposely put in a position of high stress. The study does not go further does not show authorities in different fields but only shows the lab study which makes the entire study fake. In conclusion to this, there are two reasons as to why people obey. One is they visualize authority as being a genuine person. Another is that they may feel pressured to carry orders in fear of the consequences that may come with it if they are rejected. And lastly, Milgram's study does not hold answers as to why people obey orders from authority figures.

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Obedience Experiment By Stanley Milgram [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Jul 15 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/obedience-experiment-by-stanley-milgram/
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