How and why Milgram’s research on obedience contributed to our understanding of human behaviour?
Aims of the report:
• How Stanley Milgram as contributed to human behaviour.
• Ethical Issues with the Obedience Studies
• How it is Stanley Milgram relevant in the real world and why it’s still relevant today
• How ethical was Stanley Milgram work and would it work outside the laboratory
Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) born in New York City to jewish parents, his first degree was in political science, afterwards he did a crash course in psychology. He is most well known for his Obedience Studies. Milgram was inspired like others by Second World War. “The key question Milgram wanted to explore is “What makes people do evil things?” (DSE141 2010)
Stanley Milgram’s (1961) study of obedience was controversial and raised many ethical concerns. The subjects in this study were deceived and led to believe they were actually administering electrical shocks to a person who would shout out in pain. The subjects applied the shocks, with an increasingly higher voltage simply because authority commanded them to do so. Each time, the recipient of the shocks, who was merely an actor, would protest pitifully, asking them to stop. Findings of this study showed that 65% of the subjects obeyed the commands and gave shocks up to 450 volts. The problem with this experiment was that it was extremely stressful on the subjects, and could have traumatised them. They were hurting an innocent person they didn’t even know. Although wanting to stop the experiment due to the protesting and even screaming recipient of the shocks, the subjects were urged by the experimenter to continue. This experiment was very powerful and although it was considered ethical in the 1960’s and would not be today, the findings were important to the study of obedience.
To Milgram's credit, he made sure his subjects suffered no lasting harm. Milgram did reveal the true...