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This document will look at the ethical attributions of the Milgram experiment and argue for and against the experiments according to the ethical principles of Psychologists and code of conduct set out by the American Psychological Association.
Though the researchers obtained the consent of the participants the researchers were deceptive when they said the experiment investigated memory and learning knowing it actually investigated punishment and obedience, this is an infringement of section 3.10 of APA code of conduct ("Ethical Principles", 2003).
This particular aspect also contravenes ethical principal A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence ("Ethical Principles", 2003).
However it should be commended that when offering payment of $4.50 an hour, the participants were told that they would receive the payment whether or not they completed the experiment, this was the most ethical thing to do as then payment wouldn't be the motivator of the participants actions.
Looking at all the facts given above, it can be argued that the researchers should have been honest with the participants about the nature of the experiment being a study in obedience and not that of memory and learning and that the experimenter should have reminded the participant/teacher that they are free to leave at anytime, instead of using verbal prods to ensure they continue with the experiment. While this is correct we should keep in mind that the experiment results would not have been accurate if the above suggestions were followed even though it may have made the experiment more ethical.
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