Milgram Experiment Evaluation

Decent Essays
This essay is evaluating theory and research on factors that affect rates of obedience. Understanding why people feel and act the way they do support social psychologist to study the social influence on obedience, conformity, behaviour and decision making. Social psychology is the study of how people think, feel, influence, behave and relate to each other, as well as the social environment in which people live. As no two individuals or relationships are exactly the same, people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours could be influenced by other people. For example, one’s level of obedience, the behaviour could change when been observed. Psychological variables like feelings, thoughts and behaviours are variables that can be measured in human beings. Amongst others, obedience is one of the few studied in social psychology. Obedience is a type of social influence where an individual complies with instructions from an authority figure. The work of one famous social psychologist, “obedience to authority” at Yale University, Stanley Milgram (1963) was…show more content…
Participants were deceived (deception) from the beginning that the experiment was about “the effects of punishment on learning” as well as the recorded electric shocks that were delivered. Another ethical issue was protection from harm, though the participants were debriefed at the end of the experiment but there was no right to withdraw. After the experiment, many of the participants showed signs of distress and reported feeling high levels of stress. The study lacked population validity as the participants volunteered to take part in the study. The original sample was all male (40), which cannot be generalised to women, status, race and or culture hereby lacking external validity. The study was also criticised to have low ecological validity as teachers do not deliver shocks to learners in real life
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