Analysis Of Stanley Milgram 's Obedience Study And Phillip Zimbardo 's Stanford Prison Experiment

Analysis Of Stanley Milgram 's Obedience Study And Phillip Zimbardo 's Stanford Prison Experiment

Length: 1077 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Introduction
Psychology is an abstract scientific discipline that coherently explores the behaviour of individuals and their mental processes (Whetham, et al., 2003). Past studies have been conducted by psychologists to understand and make comparisons between these behaviours and mental processes that the individuals pose. These studies require test subjects therefore, ethics play a major role in ensuring that the participants are not impacted by the study (Whetham, et al., 2003). Ethics are moral principles that are developed to ensure rights and responsibilities of the psychologist are retained throughout the research design (BBC UK, 2014). Over the last 100 years, ethics have been modified to be conveyed most effectively. Therefore, this essay will substantiate an answer to support the question ‘Have ethical guidelines influenced the field of Psychology in a positive way and what is the future for ethics within Psychology?” using the two significant studies; Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Study and Phillip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment.

Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Study


Stanley Milgram’s Obedience study was a social psychology experiment that investigated obedience to an authority figure. Yale University Psychologist, Stanley Milgram, began the experiment in 1961, shortly after World War II to determine acts of genocide by general public following orders from superiors (McLeod, 2007). The study consisted of an authority figure, an actor pretending to receive electric shocks and a person chosen as the “teacher”. The teacher was given a list of word pairs like ‘nice day’ to teach the student. However, when the student incorrectly identified the word pairing they were given an electric shock as a method of punishment in h...


... middle of paper ...


...ing animals and humans as test subjects.

Conclusion
In summary, the ethical principles of do not harm, voluntary participation and right to withdraw were breached in the psychological studies; Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Study and Philip Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment. Extreme examples of the principle do not harm, such as conveyed in Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment, show how this ethical value may be breached by a veil of ignorance as the experimenters adapt to their roles. Therefore, in conclusion, these ethical guidelines have affected the field of psychology as it opened doors for more people to understand the detrimental effects of conducting studies without ensuring the participant’s wellbeing is protected. In addition, the future of psychology holds a stricter process to do conduct research using human subjects to minimise any psychological risks like distress.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Milgram 's Obedience Study ( 1963 ) Essay

- People will do some of the craziest things when any level of force is placed upon them. People will succumb to the pressure of doing things they had never imagined they could do. Just recently people can look at the events of the revolts in Northern Africa and the extremes the people did to over throw their governments, events at Abu Ghraib, and the recent riots in Missouri. When mass hysteria or force from others is involved people will succumb to the situation and may do things they would normally deem immoral....   [tags: Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment]

Strong Essays
1026 words (2.9 pages)

The Power of Situation in The Milgram Experiment Essay

- The power that a situation can have on a person is simply incredible. This power of situation and obedience go hand in hand, people get caught up in a situation because of the obedience they were taught as children. In society obedience is the key, allowing things to run smoothly and helps to prevent chaos. But in some instances that obedience can over take and cause a person to do things that they normally wouldn’t; whether it be following orders to an extreme extent or even doing things that people would consider to be inhumane....   [tags: lucifer effect, obedience, milgram experiment]

Strong Essays
1779 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on A Brief Summary of Milgram's Seminal Research on Obedience to Authority

- Social psychology, as a discipline, has given relatively little attention to the problem of evil in society, and those discussions in this field that do exist typically regard evil actions as only varieties of aggression without any characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of intentional mistreatment of others (Berkowitz, 1999). Because of the field's situationistic perspective emphasizing the individual's susceptibility to the power of the immediate situation, social psychologists generally view the fairly high levels of obedience to authority displayed in Milgram's classic experiment as the paradigmatic example of evil behavior (Berkowitz, 1999)....   [tags: milgram experiment, social psychology, behavior]

Strong Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Milgram and Zimbardo: Overpowering Situations Essay

- Milgram and Zimbardo are classified in the same category as behaviorists. Although they are locked in the same category, they are famously known for very different experiments that have somewhat of the same idea. Zimbardo is widely known for his Stanford prison experiment, while Milgram is known for obedience to authority. The goal of both experiments was to prove like Haney has said that evil is most generally generated through evil situations. Zimbardo and Milgram’s experiments are examples of Psychological situationism, which is pretty important in the work of social psychology....   [tags: Psychology]

Strong Essays
1031 words (2.9 pages)

Punishment in the Milgram Obedience Experiment Essay

- The Milgram obedience experiment began in July of 1961. The experiment was conducted by Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University. The experiment was met to measure the willingness of participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform an experiment that was against their moral views. Milgrams participants for his experiments were from all backgrounds. The subjects ranged from college graduates to people that had not finished grade school. (Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority) They were told the experiment would study the effects of punishment on a person’s learning ability....   [tags: Psychology, Psychology Research, Research Paper]

Strong Essays
807 words (2.3 pages)

Zimbardo's Psychological Experiment and Fromm's Correlation Essay

- Zimbardo’s Psychological Experiment and Fromm’s Correlation Over 4 decades ago, a Stanford psychology professor named Phillip G. Zimbardo administered an experiment that re-created a prison environment. The goal of the experiment was to simply study the process by which prisoners and guards “learn” to become compliant and authoritarian, respectively (Zimbardo 732). What would emerge from the “Stanford Prison Experiment” article were more than just compliance and authority. The experiment gave rise to the nature of evil and obedience in human beings....   [tags: prison environment recreation, unethical research]

Strong Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Stanley Milgram

- This quote, by Stanley Milgram (1974, p. 205), exemplifies the debate that exists around the topic of obedience. Obedient behaviours have been studied in Milgram’s famous obedience experiments, and evidence of atrocities being carried out as a result of obedience can be seen in situations such as the holocaust in World War Two (Mastroianni, 2000) and more recent events such as (My Lai). This essay will explain both sides of the debate, arguing for situation and individual factors that influence people to behave in particular ways....   [tags: obedience, debate, experiments]

Strong Essays
1929 words (5.5 pages)

Stanley Milgram 's A Code Red Issued Essay

- Humans are constantly pressured to be obedient and abide by rules and orders. Time outs are enforced for children when they act against their parents. Schools have strict guidelines for behavior. When a student acts out, administrators impose immediate consequences. Individuals are conditioned to follow orders through the punishments for poor behavior. Stanley Milgram conducted as social experiment aimed at determining the extent of human obedience to authority figures without being forced to comply....   [tags: Milgram experiment, Stanford prison experiment]

Strong Essays
1455 words (4.2 pages)

Zimbardo 's Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

- Zimbardo 's Stanford Prison Experiment Aim: To test whether a person is predisposed to certain behaviour or whether the situation they find themselves in can affect their actions. Method: Zimbardo adapted the basement of Stanford University into a fake but realistic prison, to replicate the psychological experience of imprisonment and deindividuation. Recruiting 25 emotionally stable, healthy, lawful, paid volunteers who were randomly assigned the role of prisoner or guard expected to then act out their roles in a prison setting With no warning those ‘prisoners’ were arrested at their homes by real police and taken to be charged....   [tags: Milgram experiment, Stanford prison experiment]

Strong Essays
1244 words (3.6 pages)

Conformity and Obedience in Society Essay

- Conformity and Obedience in Society The desire to be accepted and belong to a group is an undeniable human need. But how does this need affect an individual. Social psychologists have conducted numerous experiments and concluded that, through various forms of social influence, groups can change their members’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In her essay “Group Minds,” Doris Lessing discusses our paradoxical ability to call ourselves individuals and our inability to realize that groups define and influence us....   [tags: Social Roles Obedience Conformity Essays]

Free Essays
939 words (2.7 pages)