Ethical Principles Of Milgram's Study Of Obedience

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Ethical guidelines are crucial in research to minimise unnecessary physical, or psychological harm to participants in an experiment. Before ethical guidelines existed in research, several experiments were not conducted ethically. In 1963, American psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted Milgram’s Study of Obedience, which investigated participants ' obedience towards authority. The study demonstrated multiple ethical issues which proved the importance of ethics in research. This report will address the ethical principles that Milgram 's study covered poorly and how they could be modified to improve the study. Two ethical principles not covered adequately in the study are right to withdraw, and deception. Additionally, the ethical principle…show more content…
Deception can only be used in research if there is no harm caused to the participants. Although deception was required to make the study successful, it was unethical as it tricked participants to believe they had caused suffering towards another human, resulting in psychological stress. Participants of Milgram’s study were deceived as they were convinced the experiment was about “the effects of punishment on learning” and were made to believe they were giving real electric shocks to the learner. They were unaware that there was no 'learner ' and they were listening to recordings of a person screaming in pain. At one point, the screams stopped which made the participants believe the learner was unconscious. From video footage of Milgram’s study, it appeared likely that many participants suffered psychological stress, which at times seemed to be of a very high level. Repeatedly asking reassurance that they would not be held accountable for their actions, multiple participants were visibly shaken by the learner 's cries of pain and requests to stop. Additionally, during the study three people had intense seizures. Proving that deceiving the participants resulted in them feeling extremely
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