Stanford Prison Experiment

935 Words4 Pages
HOW MORAL IS TESTING MORALITY? 1 How Moral is Testing Morality? A comparison of Zimbardo & Milgram's classic experiments How moral is the experimenting on morality? This is a question that I have asked HOW MORAL IS TESTING MORALITY? myself as I read both of these articles. What happens to these subjects when the experiments are finished? Does it affect them long term? If so, how? Many questions like these have me wonder. Whether being immersed in a prison setting or a member in a shock treatment facility makes its subjects lose their identity by becoming obedient, ultimately questioning their own decisions and morality. Although two very different experiments, each experimenter used Ivy League undergraduates as a type of control group. This begs the question, does the socioeconomic status of the subject really matter when studying morality? This was expressed throughly throughout Milgram's shock study. In its first round of study, the subjects were Yale undergraduates. The outcome showed that that about sixty percent were fully obedient. (Milgram, 1973, pg. 64) When these results were seen, one of Milgram's colleagues dismissed these results as "having no relevance to 'ordinary' people" because Yale undergraduates are "a highly aggressive, competitive bunch who step on each other's necks on the slightest provocation." (Milgram, 1973, pg. 64) When he conducted the study the same way using "ordinary" people, "The experimental outcome was the same as we had observed among the students." (Milgram, 1973, pg. 64) While in Zimbardo's study, twenty-two students from Stanford were used in his prison experiment. His students were volunteers who answered a newspaper ad offering $15 a day for a psychological study. (Haney, C.
Open Document