Obedience Essay

612 Words3 Pages
1) Describe one way in which Milgrams research is unethical. Milgram did not obtain informed consent from his participants and deceived them. Milgrams participants did not know the true purpose of the experiment as they thought the study was investigating punishment on learning rather than obedience. They therefore could not give informed consent. This is a limitation because it raises ethical concerns and would not be acceptable under the current BPS (British Psychological Society) guidelines for conducting research. 2) 1 strength and 1 limitation of Milgrams methodology. Milgram argued against his critics and referred to post experimental interviews and questionnaires to support his belief that the majority of participants believed they were administering real shocks. Milgram also cited evidence from films that clearly showed participants undergoing extreme stress and were genuinely involved in the situation. This is strength as it suggests that Milgrams conclusions are in fact correct. However the study has low internal validity. Orne and Holland claimed that the participants were “going along with the act” when they “shocked” the learner. They argued that the participants did not believe that they were giving real shocks and that they were not really distressed. This is a limitation because Milgram, if this is the case, his conclusions are inaccurate. 3) Outline and evaluate one or more explanations of why people obey. Legitimate Authority – we feel obligated to those in power because we respect their credentials and assume they know what they are doing. Legitimate social power is held by authority figures whose role is defined by society. This usually gives the person in authority the right to exert control over the behaviours of others and others usually accept it. For e.g. in Milgrams study the percentage of participants going up
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