Is Milgram's Experiment Ethical Or Unethical?

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There is much discussion on whether Milgram’s experiment is actually unethical. In 1961 at Yale University, Stanley Milgram selected a group of participants for his experiment through a newspaper ad searching for male participants. To carry out the procedure, the participant was paired with another person; one of them played the teacher and the other was the learner. However, the experiment was fixed so that the participant was always the teacher, and the learner was someone who worked for Milgram, pretending to be a participant. The way the actual experiment worked was by hooking up the learner to electrodes, which would cause a shock administered by the teacher in the next room. The shock would increase in voltage, and would only be administered if, after hearing a series of words, the learner responded incorrectly to the question being asked. Eventually, some of the participants began to feel uneasy about the pain they were inflicting on the individual and insisted the experiment be discontinued. In spite of that, the scientist in the room urged that in order to be a successful study, the…show more content…
This happens when participants are misinformed or misled about the purpose of the experiment. In Milgram’s study, deception occurred when Milgram allowed the teachers to believe that they had been shocking the learners. He also made the volunteers believe that the learners were also selected, but they actually worked for Milgram. When, in reality, the learners had been unstrapped from the chairs before the experiment began. This violates the guidelines because full information was not disclosed about the study, and it led to distress among several participants. On the other hand, Milgram could justify his position by explaining that deception was needed to make the study more accurate and reliable. As long as it was followed by a debriefing, the participants would have an understanding as to why they were being
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