Was the Milgram Experiment Ethical?

The Milgram Experiment was ran by Stanley Milgram in 1961 at the University of Yale. The experiment was called the “Obedience to Authority.” The idea behind the experiment was to see how obedient would be when it came to following directions, even at the expense of another humans pain. In his trial he had two participants paired, choosing a role either the student, or the teacher. One of the participants was always a confederate of Milgrams’, and the roles were rigged to where the confederate always got the role student. As the student, you would be hooked up to electrical bolts in one room, and the teachers had a set of 15 switches (all containing higher voltage power than the last) they would hit, “inflicting pain” to the student. Most people were unable to make it close to the final voltage, having a conscious after hearing the students cries of pain, but some participants did as the researcher said and continued hitting the switches. In my opinion, the research was ethical. It was ethical to me because no one in the process was actually getting hurt. Although the participants were extrememly traumatized, they had the power to stop the experiment at any time.

Was the Zimbardo Experiment ethical?

The Zimbardo experiment, also known as the Standford Prison experiment was ran by Philip Zimbardo in 1971, in a role play prision area. The experiment was to see if the role of power could tranform a person in an inhumane way “becuase they could.” A main reason for the experiment was to see if police brutality, even occurring today, was caused by the power given to that person. There were many people who applied to participate in the experiment, 24 males were selected — coin tossed to see who was a prisioner and who was a gaurd. The experiment went on for six days, every day increased inhumane humiliation caused by the gaurds. By the sixth day, the gaurds really had it in their heads the prisioners should be treated badly because they were “bad people” as well as no one telling the gaurds that any thing they were doing wasnt allowed. The experiment was extemely unethical. It gave results showing power WILL get to a persons head and because they are ABLE to treat others like puppets, they will but also at the expense of real human mistreament and breakdowns.

Were the findings of the Milgram and Zimbardo experiment worth the risk/damage to the participants?

In my personal opinion, the Milgram experiment was worth the risk. If the participants were truly tramatized by hurting another person from their own hands, why coninue to do it? They had the power to say no but continued flipping switches KNOWING they were hurting someone else just because they were told to do so. If the participants own self concious could not control them, they should not feel “tramatized” for having weak will power. The Zimbardo experiment on the other hand was no where worth the risk. Human beings (who did nothing wrong — not that it even matters) were being treated so inhumane while the researchers just watched and continued to let everything happen. When a person is actually being harmed for an experiment it is NEVER worth the risk. Although, the study has already been done and should be shown to officers of today. It does not matter that someone has committed a crime, just because you have the authority to watch over and keep someone in line does not mean you have the authority to mistreat another person. The research being shown to officers today could be shown what NOT to do with the authority given with the officer title .. but just to watch people who have done something wrong in a jail.

If you were a professional sociologist, what would you be interested in researching?

I would be interested in researching more into young women mentality. Somewhere along “Mean Girls: A study of competition between young women” Becuase im a young female, i definitely can relate to the competition between girls at a young age and even if they haven't matured, an older age. Im interested in finding out what actually sparks the competition between girls and why they naturally always feel in competition and how this sets up the standards of girls all while making them “less” to the male culture.