Summary Of Opening Skinner's Box By Lauren Slater

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In the book “Opening Skinner’s Box”, Lauren Slater discusses many complicated ideas relating to certain experiments of recent times. In every chapter, she focuses on one specific experiment and poses many controversial thoughts. One of the chapters I found most interesting was the second chapter titled “Obscura”. In it she walks readers through the experiments of Stanley Milgram and questions the purpose, results, usefulness, and morality of the experiments. To begin, the purpose of the experiments seem to be off to me. According to Slater, the purpose of the experiments were to test the idea of “obedience to authority” (58). While I do see that the experiments appear to have started as a way to test obedience, I think they stopped too early for this to be true. If they had …show more content…

Among multiple issues including giving misleading information, the most dominate is the lack of consent Milgram received from his subjects to participate in such a test (102). While I do see that this is immoral, there is no way that Milgram could have completed his experiments effectively if he had done it morally. The first issue is if he explains what is actually going to happen during the experiments, that would obviously hurt the integrity of his results. Also, going back to how the experiments help us, if those who participated knew what was going to happen, it wouldn’t have affected them as severely. It was the shock that the experiment gave that brought their life choices into question. In conclusion, I believe the way Slater presents her evidence is very convincing. She makes it a point to explain all of the controversial points that surround Stanley Milgram and his experiments. While we might not agree on all of her points, we both share the thought that Milgram and his experiments have affected positively despite the issues of its purpose, results, usefulness, and morality shroud the experiments in

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