Stanley Milgram's Experiments On Obedience

1386 WordsNov 13, 20176 Pages
In her article, “Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience”, psychologist Diana Baumrind criticizes Stanley Milgram’s experiments on obedience to authority, stating that not only were Milgram’s experiments unethical but so was the scientist himself, claiming that he did not take appropriate measures to properly ensure his subject’s wellbeing post-experiment and therefore, experiments such as these should not be repeated. Baumrind does address an important point in her review and that is the responsibility of psychologists to ensure that their subjects are treated fairly and ethically but this is overshadowed by the fact that Baumrind’s argument is one rooted in pathos with little evidence to support her claims while being…show more content…
This does not come across as a logical conclusion and sheds light on the illogicality of Baumrind’s argument. Her writing is filled with emotionally loaded terms such as “humiliate”, “manipulate”, “emotional-disturbance”, “traumatic” (295, 296) and claims that Milgram’s experiment relied on deception and harmed its subjects. These are all words that possess negative connotation and conjure up a specific type of negative image when read. By trying to appeal to the emotion of her readers and forgoing logic in exchange, Baumrind overloads her argument with too much emotion and fails to logically prove why Milgram’s experiments should not be replicated. Unfortunately, Baumrind’s failing is not simply due to pathos being the basis of her argument; rather, most of her evidence or claims of how the subjects would react in Milgram’s experiments are simply assumptions on her part. Baumrind claims that after an experiment like Milgram’s, she would expect subjects to be anywhere from “deeply hurt and anxious” to “alienated” and “distrustful” of authority in future (297). Baumrind does not provide any evidence to suggest that as a result of being fooled, every subjects would display negative emotional responses after being informed. She goes on to use her assumptions on subject reaction as fact and leaves them without any supporting empirical evidence. Baumrind’s argument does not include testimony from her own experiments proving that most subjects in “sociopsychological
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