Critique of Stanley Milgram’s “Behavioral Study of Obedience”

901 Words Oct 17th, 2011 4 Pages
A Critique of Stanley Milgram’s “Behavioral Study of Obedience”

Stanley MIlgram is a Yale University social psychologist who wrote “Behavioral Study of Obedience”, an article which granted him many awards and is now considered a landmark. In this piece, he evaluates the extent to which a participant is willing to conform to an authority figure who commands him to execute acts that conflict with his moral beliefs. Milgram discovers that the majority of participants do obey to authority. In this research, the subjects are misled because they are part of a learning experience that is not about what they are told. This experiment was appropriate despite this. Throughout the process, subjects are exposed to various signs that show them
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Subjects therefore know about the impact on the victim. Also, participants control the shock generator, which clearly indicates the voltage levels, ranging from Slight Shock to XXX. They are fully conscious of the voltage level delivered. Another indication about the intensity of the experiment is when the victim “…pounds on the wall of the room in which he is bound to the electric chair” (23) after being shocked at 300 volts. Henceforth, the victim does not provide any other answer. Still, only 5 participants terminate the experiment, while the rest go on. These indications are available to the subjects during the experiment; however, they continued to obey knowing they are allowed to stop.
Furthermore, Milgram uses a method that is misleading—since he does not share the real purpose of the experiment with the participants—for a good cause. If participants were told the idea behind this study, it would have not even take place. It is only with a dishonest research reason that the results would be true. Besides, this experiment became a landmark since many researchers refer to it even till this day. Milgram states that most would obey to an authority figure even under harmful circumstances. He demonstrated this with specific features and allowed the reader to understand his study with straightforward information. His experiment was also appropriate rather than unethical. The intensity of the experiment was displayed

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