As interesting as the Milgram Experiment was and still actually is to people who study sociology, I would say that the Milgram Experiment was unethical. Even though people still are recreating different “ethical” forms of the Milgram Experiment, if it were to take place in this time I believe the controversy would be bigger and more would lean towards it being unethical. After reading and watching a video on how the goal was to see how the “teacher” would react to thinking they were putting another person in pain through shocks, you were able to tell that there was a lot of frustration, guilt, and maybe even later regret about it (McLeod, 2007). It could have a long term effect on the “teacher’s” psychological standpoint, which I believe is unethical.
Alongside with the way I believe that the Milgram experiment was unethical because of the huge long-term psychological harm it “caused”, I would say that the Zimbardo Experiment was also unethical because of the same reason and potentially more. Although, the experiment was completely unpredictable because unlike the Milgram Experiment, everyone that participated in the Zimbardo Experiment was aware that it was all “acting” but, had to be as real as possible. As the days went by in the experiment, it proved to show that each participant adapted to their roles but, was taken to another level when harm, violence, and distress to the participants began to take place. For this reason, the Zimbardo Experiment was highly unethical.
Even if the findings, and the experiments themselves were extremely interesting and unethical in my own opinion would say that sure, they were both worth the risk. In both experiments what was found was both in interest to both Milgram and Zimbardo, and in a way unexpected. It also still helps sociologists form certain sociological experiments along the same senses, but “more” ethical nowadays days.
Now, if I was a sociologist I would be highly interested in studying criminals, mostly because my overall interest is criminal justice. Sociology and the study of criminals meet to form the study of criminology. It would involve studying crimes, criminals, the causes and effects, and social impacts. I find it fascinating the different ways certain criminals are impacted to commit crime and the environments around that can have effects on them. This area would definitely be the most interesting to me.
McLeod, S. A. (2007). The Milgram Experiment. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html