Milgrim Experiment Essay

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Stanley Milgram had a fascination with human obedience patterns. His experiment derived from the question of why the Nazis in Germany so willingly obeyed Adolf Hitler and assisted in the attempted extermination of the Jewish population. He wondered if it was simply Germany and other Eastern European countries that had a higher obedience levels than other countries such as America. This led to his idea of the famous Milgram Experiment. His idea consisted of having an uninformed subject that would be the “teacher,” and two confederates: an actor to be the “learner” and the experimenter, a man in a white lab coat. The teacher was in one room, and the learner was in another where they could not see each other. The teacher would quiz the learner by saying a list of words and associating each one with another word. The teacher would then say each first word and then follow it with four possible answers one of which was the correct word that it was originally associated with. The learner would have to answer the correct word, and the consequence would be an electric shock. The shocks would begin at fifteen volts, and for every question the learner answered wrong, the shocks would increase by fifteen volts. The person delivering these shocks would be the teacher by use of a switch board. There was also an experimenter that overlooked the experiment that was in the same room as the learner. What the teacher did not know was that the learner was not actually receiving these shocks, and it was just a recording of the reactions made by the learner, such as shouts and screams. The objective of the experiment was to see how far and long the teacher would repeatedly shock the learner before completely refusing to keep asking questions. The only question that remains is this: Was this experiment ethical? The experiment was ethical, and for many reasons. The participants all

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