Social Science Research

In the past, there have been many experiments for testing the social science theories. One in particular, was the Milgram Experiment conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. He began his experimenting in 1961 when becoming fascinated with how persons could order the death of millions of Jews during WWII. He conducted a experiment including shock a generator and obedience. This experiment could be considered not ethical because of the people shocking one another when getting a wrong answer. When the “teacher” would hear the “student” complain about the pain, it would be considered a incorrect answer, meaning another shock, up to 300 volts would be delivered. This experiment proved to be not ethical in many ways because of the harm to the participants and the experimenters would often go off the script of the experiment.

The Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Phillip Zimbardo was also an unethical experiment because of the participants going through psychological torture while being in the experiment. The experiment ended up being stopped only six days into it when it was supposed to last up to two weeks. The results ended up with some “inmates” beginning to act crazy and out of control.

The findings from the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment were not worth the pain and suffering that the participants went through in my opinion. Both experiments were somewhat decent when receiving results but not the most useful when determining cognitive dissonance theory and power of authority.

If I was interested in researching a theory, I would probably do the power of authority theory. I have always found how fascinating it is for a person who has a label to be able to control and dictate others, even if they don’t have the full knowledge or orders too.

McLeod, S. (2007). The Milgram Experiment. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from

(2013). Introduction to Sociology. Houston, TX: OpenStax College