Unit 2: Research & Experiments
I believe that the Milgram experiment was ethical. I feel like as humans we need to know how far we are willing to follow orders from those with authority. I think it leads to the greater study of what could get people to stop obeying and think for themselves and what they believe is right or wrong. If nothing can make people realize this then one day, when World War III (if it were to) start, will we be the ones being killed or will be the ones killing just because we were told to. How far would we be willing to go?
The Zimbardo experiment is quite like the Milgram experiment in terms that the participants had a choice to do what they wanted whether they thought so or not. Only difference is the Zimbardo experiment gave the students that were the guards power rather than testing their obedience. Then again these guards followed the evil that lead them to do evil things. I think it was ethical for the people to know what power will do to those who are weak enough to fall into the darkness. This experiment might have been disturbing but it’s just like showing the people the power the government has and we don’t know if or when they will fall for the same evil.
Even though I believe it was ethical for both these studies to be performed, I don’t believe it was worth the risk of participants. Yet, I believe any psychological or physical stress put on the Milgram subject is their own fault for not listening to their own beliefs and doing what they knew/felt was right. When it comes to the Zimbardo experiment, I don’t think there was much a risk because this experiment is real no matter how we look at it, it is constantly being done. It might not be an experiment but a life choice in prisons of war.
If I were to study in society, I would study the effects an unstable household has on children in the way their personality develops. I’m not saying I want to study feral children. When I say unstable I mean divorced parents or even parents that no longer love each other and take it out on their children. I know a few people who have emotional issues because of these unstable households.
Openstax College, (2015). Introduction to Sociology: Second Edition. Houston, Texas:Open Stacks College.
Malcom Harris, The Psychology of Torture: Why do we need to keep doing the Milgram experiment, New York:The New Inquiry.