The Milgram experiment was unethical because of the psychological harm that was present. The fact that the “teacher” was told to continue to shock the “student” even though the student was protesting is causing the teacher to believe that he is in fact harming the student. This is a not only a major ethical issue that a test is causing harm to another human being but also causing psychological harm to the one doing the shocks because they believe that they are indeed causing harm to others.
The Zimbardo experiment was also very unethical. The experiment itself starts fine but as the guards assume the position of power over the inmates then the experiment becomes unethical and harmful to both parties rapidly. As soon as the guards became comfortable with their role they started to increase their unethical treatment of the inmates to maintain and assert the power that they had. As the guards increased their unethical actions the inmate’s minds started to break causing harm and potential long lasting effects to their minds and behaviors. The guards will also suffer because of this experiment. The guards will suffer because there may be a new need create in these guards to recreate the power that they had over these inmates or create a power seeking mental aspect that can harm them and others around them.
The findings of the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments as unethical as they were, were worth the damage and risk as the provided invaluable information into the minds of humans. This information although came at a great risk helps countless others in the understanding of humans and their inherent ability to follow orders of those in a position of power and the greed and tendency to misuse power when placed in a position of power.
If I were a professional sociologist I would be interested in studying the aspects of how are materialism and need for advanced technology is isolating us. As humans grow and develop, a shift in society is making it more acceptable to want more and yet have less connections with the real world. This can be seen in multiple aspects such as Facebook and smartphones.