Milgram Study of Obedience Essay

Milgram Study of Obedience Essay

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In my studying of the Milgram study of Obedience, I found that the location, the “authority” of the “experimenter” and the subjects themselves were factors that caused the subjects to obey. Yale University has a world renown reputation and because of this it gives the study a sense of legitimacy. This would allow the subject to believe the study and the instructions of the experimenter. Our sense of authority comes from when we were children with our parents. They engrained the sense of obeying by instructing our lives. This usually carried on to our chosen careers. The ad in the paper had a list of the following occupations, factory workers, businessmen, city employees, construction workers, clerks, sales people, barbers, white collar workers, telephone workers, professionals and others. They must have been ages 20-50 and must not have been students (File:Milgram Experiment advertising.gif, 2007). These professions usually have a boss who gives tasks to the worker. The workers must be obedient towards the authority figure and having to do this would develop the habit of doing what one is told.

If I was a participant in this experiment I would be vulnerable to the factors of the location of the study because many people in the world do hold Yale University in very high regard. I do find I do obey instructions well but I don't think I would be inclined to purposely hurt another human being, for no reason other than self defence. I don't like pain a learning tool with my pets, so I highly doubt I would be comfortable hurting someone for the sake of a study or monetary gain.

In today's society, disobedience is very frown upon. Keeping up social norms is held in admiration, but in recent years protests have becom...

... middle of paper ...

...have about the real experiment. Then I would have introduced the confederate.

If I was on the review board who was deciding to allow Milgram conduct this study, I would be inclined to allow him to carry on. I would bring up the ethics of the stress that the subjects would face and what Milgram would do in order to decrease the likelihood of any lasting effects. If he would explained that he would have a debriefing afterwards and a psychological evaluation a year later to be sure there is no lasting effects, I would be satisfied with the answer and given him a vote of yes.

Works Cited

Milgram, Stanley. (1963). Behavioural Study of Obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. Vol 67 (4), 371-378

Milgram experiment, n.d, Wikipedia, retrieved on November 20th 2013, retrieved from

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