Unethically ethical.

With the expansive research that scientists have conducted it is hard to say what lengths one would go through in order to achieve a certain result. I believe that Milgram’s experiment — although unfair to the “teacher” — it was pretty ethical in terms of not violating another individual (such as the “student” being sent the shocks of voltage) in a harmful or unwanted matter (source). The whole point was to set up a scenario and to see if a participant would be able to counteract the higher authority, which was the researcher. And most of the feedback resulted in a lot of the teachers dropping out of the study resisting any further participation because they could not bare to inflict any more pain upon the student who was unable to recite the correct words. To me, there was no psychological feedback because it was basically a test of morality and the participant who played the role of a student never was hurt in the making of the study to begin with.

Subsequently, I will now address the Zimbardo experiment (source) which absolutely sent me into awe. This experiment to me was absolutely disgusting in the sense that innocent men who were willing to volunteer their time for a study were berated for almost a week straight in conditions that were nothing but welcoming. The sad part to me was that those men were dehumanized by other innocent men who were given the role to play the“bad guy” and they gradually grew into the role and became one with the role. Human nature is something that adapts to its environment and status; with men playing two parts as either a prison guard or prisoner who did not take their roles seriously at first but gradually accepted their role as their own identity was a true test of how vulnerable and weak we are psychologically, or rather, how easily influenced we all potentially are. Prisoners emotionally broke down one by one as the days went by and that is truly damaging to their psyche and establishes this social experiment as nothing but unethical.

To be frank, the two experiments conducted by Milgram and Zimbardo were potentially meant to analyze human nature and their resistance or favor to authority. Overall whatever, “…research approach is used, researchers want to maximize the study’s reliability” (Openstax, 2016, pg.31). Regardless, the risk and damage went beyond reliable measures. I did not find it fair to subject an individual in harmful conditions outside of what they are usually exposed to and to have them fare in these conditions with hopes that you will find the answer to what you already know. I believe that human nature will always be resistance to an authoritative figure when taken too far in terms of rules and regulations but we will always listen to a certain extent. However, to be degraded or forced to be someone seemed so counterproductive with how each of the experiments were conducted. In order to feel some sense of sympathy for both Milgram and Zimbardo you must take into account the value neutrality that they probably had to abide by to the best of their abilities that made them lack proper treatment to others. They tried to avoid, “…skewing data in order to match a predetermined outcome that aligns with a particular agenda, such as a political or moral point of view” (Openstax, 2016, pg.44). Because of this viewpoint they must pursue to ensure a viable experiment this led to devastating outcomes outside of their own predictions.

If I were to be a sociologist, I would be interested in researching adverse effects of competition between members of a family. I am not quite sure if these leads into more of the psychological side but I live in a family where we are quite competitive (it is healthy competition — or so I believe) but in turn I see some underlying spite and jealousy that is suppressed underneath it all. We could tell ourselves that we love this person unconditionally but why do we feel bitter when they achieve things way beyond your spectrum and you do not feel any sense of honor for them? So, the real question is, can you really love someone enough to not outshine them or in the end all that really matters is where you end up in life? It would be something I would look into and research if I were to be a sociologists — family relations and such.