The Milgram Experiment

963 Words4 Pages
Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist, conducted an experiment in 1963 about human obedience that was deemed as one of the most controversial social psychology experiments ever. Ian Parker and Diana Baumrind, responded to Stanley Milgram’s experiment. Baumrind focuses on the moral and ethical dilemma while, Parker focuses more on the experiment’s actual application. The experiment’s original intent was to determine if society would simply obey to authority when put under pressure by an authoritative figure. Milgram put a twist on the experiment asking the age-old question of, “if the Germans during WWII were simply obeying to authority when carrying out the Holocaust or were they all acting on their own”. The test subject, or teacher, would administer electric shocks to the learner, a paid actor, when the learner incorrectly answered the word pairings. The teacher thought the learner was receiving electric shocks when in reality the learner was not receiving any shocks. An instructor, the authoritative figure, was sitting behind the teacher reassuring the teacher that the shocks may be painful but would not inflict permanent damage. Throughout the experiment, the teacher can be seen looking back towards the instructor for permission on whether to continue or stop .The teacher instructed the learner to continue even when the learner cried out in pain and begged for the experiment to stop. Sixty-five percent of the time, the teacher continued until he administered the highest shock. This experiment proves that when under the right circumstances society will obey authority. Baumrind thinks of Milgram’s experiment as more of a ‘game’ than an actual scientific experiment (Baumrind 225). She claims that Milgram left no alternative ‘out’ for the subject (226). Baumrind also thinks that Milgram did not care enough about the well-being of his test subjects (226). Parker
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