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Ethical Issues in Milgrams and Zimbardos Experiments - Essay Example

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Ethical Issues in Milgrams and Zimbardos Experiments

This study highlights that imbalances of power in a group setting can turn the behavior of normal human beings into tyrannical tendencies. This revelation creates an understanding of the complex issue of authority and why people under authority choose to obey such offensive requests. Consequently, the studies can be applied in current society to understand certain situations that depict cases of obedience despite the unethical nature of the request. However, just like many other psychological experiment, these experiments have been labelled cruel by the current society because of their unethical nature. Therefore, despite the fact that these experiments contribute hugely to the understanding of reality shows among other obedience issues, they continue to receive criticism because of their unethical nature. Nevertheless, in the eyes of today’s society, these experiments are unethical because of how the participants were handled, as well as the experience.
From this paper it is clear that Milgram’s Shock Study involved a teacher, student, and a third person meant to be a volunteer. Both the student and the teacher were placed in a situation where they communicated, but did not see each other. With Yale undergraduates as the subjects, the study tested the obedience of the subjects when ordered by the experimenter to administer a shock to another person. The subjects were ordinary people, and the results of the experiment were shocking. According to the results, 60% of the participants obeyed the order completely, and even though signs of distress, they went ahead to perform what they had been told to do. The signs of distress revealed that the subjects recognized that what they were doing is wrong, but despite this, they carried out the experimenter’s instructions. ...Show more


This essay declares that psychologists have often wondered why people would follow authority of their superiors even if the command in question is of questionable ethics. This was until the studies by Milgram and Zimbardo shed some light into the issue of obeying authority. …
Author : veumclifton
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