Research Experience Paper Psychology 101 Arielle Mason Professor C Maile October 15, 2013 Article: Obey at Any Cost? Many times we are given commands or orders from a higher authority or power some of which we do not agree with or follow. This is because we use our moral values and human emotions to determine whether they were right or wrong. But there is a time where we may Judge and not agree while others may not pass a judgment and be in agreement. In the study of Psychology we look to a researchers finding to prove the way we respond to emotional, environmental and societal changes.
Stanley Milgram a researcher that set out on the behalf of Yale University conducted a study to determine how obedient we become when driven or motivated by authority to inflict mild to severe pain is applied. Milgram’s study creates a huge debate in ethics. The reason why this debate is still prevalent, because he wanted to show how authority when given orders to carry out a form of punishment through pain can be done. He thought that when humans are told to obey it is amazing to see how they would hurriedly obey and not acknowledge their moral standard or be empathetic to another.
To prove that authority and obedience has a lot in common– Milgram faced a great challenge. The challenge was to create a situation in a laboratory, have a neutral party to enforce the orders and inflict the pain where no one was hurt. So in order for there to be no real pain he use an electrical device with a 30-toggle switches labeled with voltage levels ranging from thirty volts to one-hundred fifty volts. The volts were grouped from slight shock with very little affect to severe shock with the most intense shock. They were artificial in the fact they gave an artificial eeling that was intensified through the exercise.
The participants would resume afterwards to normal at the end of the session. Milgram conducted the experiment wltn rorty males wltn age ranges 0T 20 to years 0T age . I nere were 0T varlous backgrounds of skilled and unskilled workers, salesmen and professionals (lawyers, accountants, doctors etc. ) They were compensated to take part of this experiment. Neither were they told the true meaning to the experiment. They were informed that they were taking part in a study to reveal if there is any retaining of learning with punishment involved.
They were instructed to choose from a draw from a hat on what role they would play in the study. This left them only a choice a role as the learner. They were taken to another area in the lab to execute the exercise. They were then strapped to a chair connected to the high voltage machine. The instructor gave them a list of words to remember as they were spoken from a different room. Afterwards they were instructed to recite the words that were paired together with no relation to each other. The pain was delivered with increasing the voltage if the word pairs were not recited correctly.
As the pain increase they ask to stop. This was a sign that they could not respond obediently to the pain and their tolerance was getting weaker. But the teacher explained that they must continue causing a small percentage of accuracy but no greater change. The most obedient took the most voltage in shock and those who quit early were deemed the least obedient. The highest shock level was at three hundred and seventy-five volts and least of three hundred volts. The most obedient remained calm as the levels increase while the least obedient showed anger and discomfort despite being instructed to continue.
Milgram was able to show that people obey more if the authority or person enforcing commands are in close proximity. This is true because as they recited the words incorrectly the shock was applied immediately. With this situation if not given reinforcement right away the participants would not have focused on getting the pairs correct. While finding some truth to this experiment; there was a lack of proof of where the participants were challenged ethically. We can first tell this when there were no women; given real life instances and what post changes that can take place fter being in a controlled experiment.
Also, what kept them receiving the pain as it got worst. In a study like this, an exaggeration of the reactions to the environment would give this study more validation. We would support his study if he tried to prove if environmental, physical and emotional aspect of how the human mind responds to authority. This experiment would have been highly affiliated with how fast humans respond to authority if these tests were given. That is why researchers through the era of psychology like to use or refer to Law Enforcement officials to this orrelation of obedience.
The reason is they have to execute order under capital punishment where the result is death instead of temporary pain. They may or may not agree with the cruel mission requested by society to be carried out with no human response of empathy. These officers have to obey this command to make sure their freedom, family needs and Job description is met. Since this experiment researchers try to prove how much Milgram findings lack theory and do not show how individuals respond to punishment when forced to obey at all levels of society from infant to adulthood.