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Milgram Experiment

Essay by   •  February 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,143 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,141 Views

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1. Describe this experiment in 150-200 words. (200 words)

Stanley Milgram, a psychologist, conducted an experiment which measured the compliance of study contributors to obey an authority figure who instructed them to execute acts diverging their personal conscience. In the experiment, the teachers, who were essentially the unknowing subjects of the study, were appointed by Milgram. The co-subject was taken to an adjoining room of the teacher where he is strapped in a chair to prevent movement and an electrode is placed on his arm.

This subject was advised to teach the learner a list of paired associates, to test him on the list, and to manage chastisement whenever the learner made an error. Punishment was administered in the form of an electric shock to the learner, “designed to consider the consequence of punishment on memory.” It was understood that the shocks ranged from 15-450 volts in strength for each fault the learner made during the experimentation.

The naive subject was always the teacher who was oblivious that the learner in the study was in reality an actor, purely signifying uneasiness as the teacher amplified the electric shocks. The experimenter remains impassive throughout the test.

2. What is the purpose or “end” of the experiment? (150 words)

The experiment aimed to comprehend events in which people carry out horrendous acts against other individuals and tested for how long the teacher would comply with the experimenter despite the obvious pain of the learner. The genuine focus of the experiment is the teacher.

Milgram showed that in a social structure with distinguished positions of influence, ordinary people could be somewhat effortlessly convinced to give what appeared to be even fatal electric shocks to another person. This thereby determined how far a person will continue in a tangible and quantifiable situation of deep consequence to the participants in which he is ordered to impose mounting aches on a protesting injured party. The experiment was proposed to demonstrate if following instructions was a genuine explanation and validation for actions that individuals would not typically execute independently.

3. Whom did Milgram consider to be the stakeholders in these experiments? (100 words)

Milgram considers three stakeholders within this experiment; which are the experimenter, and the subjects of the teacher and learner. The role of the experimenter was a by an impassive man presented as stern and demanding. The learner was the actor of the experiment aware of the deception occurring. The role of the teacher was filled by randomly selected “men who are in everyday life responsible and decent.” These men represent ordinary people drawn from the working, managerial, and professional classes. “A subject who complies with the entire series of experimental commands will be termed an obedient subject; one at who at any point in the command series defies the experimenter will be called a disobedient or defiant subject.”

4. What arguments might be used to justify the deceit which is essential to the success of the experiment? (150 words)

In Milgram's experiments, subjects were persuaded to impose what they supposed to be electric shocks in compliance to a perceived figure of authority. The situation was contrived: there were no actual shocks, the lottery was fixed, and the learner was a confederate of the experimenter. In a survey performed by Milgram prior to the study many forecasted that people would be able to oppose influence when ordered to do something customarily considered horrific. However, “with numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under the demands of authority and perform actions that were callous and severe.”

By clever manipulations, Milgram established that it was obedience to authority that directed people to perform in this manner, rather than the unleashing of a concealed aggressive urge to impose pain. This suggests that a human subject suppresses internal ethical standards surprisingly readily when they conflict with loyalty to an authority figure. Therefore, Milgram argued that deception was necessary as evidenced by the mistaken predictions of the results.

5. What difficulties are faced by the experimenter in explaining the experiment to the subject who

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