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Defying Ethics Essay

978 words - 4 pages

Stanley Milgram was a Yale psychologist that organized diverse studies during his career. In 1961, at the age of twenty-seven he conducted his most controversial study on obedience. In light of the recent Holocaust, Milgram wanted to comprehend how twelve million people were put to death simply by the orders from their commanders. The original accepted explanation was the popular notion of the authoritarian personality, but Milgram suspected the explanation to be too confined. He supposed the explanation to harmful obedience was not in the strength of personality but to a greater extent in the strength of the situation. Any influential circumstance could cause any normal person to disregard ...view middle of the document...

Inflicted insight occurs when the participant becomes aware of his own flaws through his cooperation in an experiment, often accidently or the provocation of emotional torment. It is most probable in social and psychological studies, particularly when deception is involved. During his experiment, Milgram found a high degree of obedience under his laboratory conditions. Upon learning about themselves, many of the subjects experienced sever and prolonged anxiety due to the inflected insight (Levine). As damaging and unethical as this may seem the writer believes that it might have served as an eye opening experience. Participant of the study would then be enlightened or become cognizant of their capabilities while being obedient; therefore carry themselves with more discernment and a stronger will to act morally correct.
The experimentation on obedience to authority contained deception that was vital for defeating the possible legitimacy risk associated with the studies of cognizant participants. One of the key factors that the experimental methods exist is to set forth a standard that will provide the efficacy of a hypothesis. Controlled experiments, in particular, supply intuitiveness into chain reactions by demonstrating what consequence occurs when a specific determinant is manipulated. Deception is then argued to be a necessary evil, often required to provide the needed scientific illusion and boost the effect of a laboratory or field setting, such that the experimental circumstance becomes more genuine and decreases the impact of participants’ influence and role playing behavior (Kendall). It is quiet difficult to conduct a legitimate experiment with no deception simply because even a little deception cannot be entirely avoided. In the example of a double-blinded study even both the tester and the subject have to be deceived or blinded to avoid any intentional or unconscious bias.
Those who argue that Milgrim’s Shock experiment is unethical argue that despite the beneficial finding, deception is wrong and not worth the extreme emotional stress or the...

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