Comparing Views On Stanley Milgram's Experiment On Obedience

1168 words - 5 pages

In 1963 a psychologist named Stanley Milgram conducted one of the greatest controversial experiments of all time. Milgram tested students from Yale to discover the obedience of people to an authoritative figure. The subjects, whom did not know the shocks would not hurt, had to shock a “learner” when the “learner” answered questions incorrectly. Milgram came under fire for this experiment, which many proclaimed was unethical. This experiment of Milgram’s stimulated the creation of several responsive articles. Two articles that respond to this experiment are authored by Diane Baumrind and Ian Parker. These two authors attempt to review the methods, results, and ethical issues of Milgram’s experiment.
“Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments of Obedience” was written by Diane Baumrind. Baumrind is a psychologist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkley. Throughout her article, Baumrind attacks multiple aspects of Milgram’s experiment. She immediately states that the location of the experiment played a factor in the produced results (Baumrind 225). She continues in saying the lack of emotion and concern from the teacher caused heavy stress on the subjects. Baumrind also calls into question the supposed attempts of Milgram to allow the subjects to leave in a clear, whole state of mind (Baumrind 227). The affects the experiment would have on the subjects afterwards is also a point of concern for Baumrind. Lastly, Baumrind pleads for the subjects to be fully informed of the experiment they would be partaking in (Baumrind 229). However, Baumrind is not the only author who reviews the experiment. Ian Parker, “Obedience”, writes about the consequences Milgram himself experienced after the results of his experiment had been produced (Parker 234). Parker’s, a British writer, article first appeared in an issue of Granta Parker furthermore discusses the after effects on Milgram’s subjects which were attempted to be concealed. He also delves into the effects location would have on such an experiment. Ethical issues and Milgram’s claimed influences on the results are called into question by Parker as well. Baumrind and Parker attempt to discuss and review the experiment and the components included.
One issue of the experiment of which Parker and Baumrind both expound on is the location of the experiment. Baumrind states that the location frightens subjects because of its alien setting (Baumrind 225). She continues saying the location causes discomfort and a sense of anxiety in the subjects, causing them to be more susceptible to commands. If the experiment had been conducted in a different, familiar location then the results would have been different, says Baumrind. Parker agrees with the location being a factor in the results of the experiment. In Parker’s article, he quotes two professors, Ross and Nisbet, in saying “people tend to do things because of where they are, not who they are.” Also, Ross and Nisbet state the...

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