The Ethical Problems With The Milgram Obedience StudyBy BenOni | November 14, 2022
The study itself was designed to test the limits of obedience to authority, by seeing how far people would go when ordered to inflict pain on another person. The study has been widely criticized for its lack of ethics, as well as its scientific validity.
The most obvious ethical problem with the Milgram Obedience Study is that it involved deception. The participants were not told the true nature of the study, and were instead led to believe that they were taking part in a study about memory and learning. This deception was unethical, as it meant that the participants could not give their fully informed consent to take part in the study.
Another ethical problem with the study is that it involved exposing participants to psychological stress. The participants were ordered to inflict pain on another person, and were told that they would be responsible if that person was harmed. This was a highly stressful situation, and some participants may have experienced lasting psychological effects as a result.
The Milgram Obedience Study also violated the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. The study did not have any potential benefits for the participants, and in fact exposed them to psychological stress and potential harm. The study did not adhere to the principle of beneficence, as it did not promote the welfare of the participants.
It is clear that the Milgram Obedience Study was unethical, both in terms of its design and its execution. The study violated several ethical principles, and exposed participants to psychological stress and potential harm. The study is also of questionable scientific value, as its results may not be generalizable to the wider population.
First, the study was conducted without the consent of the participants, who were not made aware of the true nature of the experiment until after it was over. Second, the experiment was designed to induce stress and anxiety in the participants, which could potentially have long-term psychological effects. Third, the study did not adhere to the principles of beneficence, which require that research be conducted in a way that maximizes the potential for good and minimizes the potential for harm. Finally, the study violated the principle of informed consent, which requires that research subjects be fully informed of the risks and benefits of participating in a study before they agree to do so.
All of these ethical problems raise serious questions about the Milgram Obedience Study and its value as a scientific research tool. However, it is important to remember that the study did produce some valuable data about human behavior. In particular, it showed that people are capable of inflicting great harm on others if they are ordered to do so by an authority figure. This data has been used to help prevent and resolve conflicts around the world, and it would be impossible to overstate its importance.