SOC1010 Columbia Southern Ch 6 Milgram Experiment Journal Question In Chapter 6 on pages 123 and 124, the Milgram Experiment was discussed. Please answer both parts of the journal question below about the Milgram Experiment.
•Part 1: Do you believe Milgram’s experiment was ethical? Explain why or why not.
• Part 2: If you were the teacher in the experiment, do you think you would respond differently with your willingness to shock the student based on the person’s background factors (gender, age, religion, etc.)? Why, or why not?
Your journal entry must be at least 200 words. No references or citations are necessary. peers even though they have no
direct authority over us. Going
along with the crowd, whether
that means attending a basket-
ball game, studying abroad,
or going to a party all because
your friends do, is a form of
conformity. Obedience, on the
other hand, is a vertical form
of social control that involves
doing what a person in a posi-
tion of authority over you says
you should. In this form of
social control, the social status
D’Costock/lpiter Images RF
of a person whose authority we
respect, whether as a teacher,
religious leader, or coach, gives them power over us. We Milgram set up a scenario in which a volunteer, recruited
are inclined to do what they ask because we trust them from the local community, was told that researchers were
and defer to their presumed knowledge and wisdom. investigating the effects of pun
obedience Dong what a perso
Social psychologist Stanley Milgrani (1963, 1974) ishment on learning. The vol-
ne son of authority over yo
wondered how far people would go when asked to do unteer was then brought into a
Says you should
something by a trusted authority figure. He was motivated lah setting and asked to serve as
to do so, in part, because he wanted to better understand a teacher” who would ask questions of a “learner.” If the
the involvement of the German people in the murder of learner got the question wrong. the teacher was instructed
6 million Jews and millions of others during World War by a scientist, dressed in a lab coat, to administer an electric
II. One of the rationalizations given after the war was that shock to the learner. For each additional question the learner
they were just following orders.” Milgram conceived of a got wrong, the teacher was instructed to increase the shock’s
test to demonstrate people’s willingness to obey voltage. Unbeknownst to the volunteer, however, no actual
shock was administered. The real purpose
of the study was to see how far the teacher/
volunteer would go before refusing to obey
In a prearranged script, the learner delib
erately gave incorrect answers and pre-
tended to be in pain when shocked.” For
example, al 150 volts the learner would cry
out, “Get me out of here!” At 270 volts the
learner would screant in agony. When the
shock reached 350 volts, the learner would
fall silent. If the teacher wanted to stop the
experiment, the experimenter would insist
that the teacher continue, using such state
ments as “The experiment requires that you
continue” and “You have no other choice
you must go on.” Milgran repeated this
experiment numerous times, altering 23 dif
ferent experimental conditions, such as the
The zombie apoca ypse has become a pop cu cure stele,
gender of the scientist, the number of scien-
Examples include George Romero’s Ling Deodfns, Max
tists, and the presence of the scientist in the
Brooks’s World War Zocok and film and The Working Deco
room, to see what et focts they might have. In
graphic move and TV series. Such accounts often say more about Experiment 5, the variation for which Mil-
humans and the breakdown of social order than they do not gram is best known. 65 percent of the volun
zombes. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, now cu ckly do you teers continued all the way up to the 450-volt
think soc al order would break down? What factors might in mize maximum (Blass 1999; Haslanı, Loughnan,
socio chaos? What steps should becole take?
and Perry 2014; Milgram 1974a).
Researchers since Milgram have con
Photo: Everett Collection
ducted similar demonstrations seeking
Chapter 6 / Deviance
According to the American Sociological Asso-
clation Code of Ethics, researchers must pro
rect subjects from personal harm.” To what
extent might Milgram’s subjects have experi-
enced emotional harm? How and why might a
researcher seek to justify such a risk?
without fully appreciating what we are doing. Under simi-
lar circumstances, otherwise normal people can and do
treat one another inhumanely, as demonstrated by the
revealing photos taken at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004
which showed U.S. military guards humiliating, if not tor-
turing, traqi prisoners (Hayden 2004: Zimbardo 2007).
Reflecting on his research, Milgram wrote, “It may be
that we are puppets
puppets controlled by the strings of
society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with
awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to
our liberation” (1974b: 568). We do not make choices in
a vacuum and sociology enables us to better recognize the
social forces that shape our actions so that we can make
more informed choices
Do you think a person’s background factors
would influence how far ne or she would
go in Milgram’s experiment? How might
age, gender, religion, or education make a
to replicate his findings and have produced comparable
results. The average obedience rate for 17 similar stud-
ies was 65 percent, though rates for these studies varied
significantly from 28 o 91 percent (Blass 1999). Due
to the potentially harmful psychological side effects on
the volunteers, studies such as these ceased. In a more
recent attempt, social psychologist Jerry Burger (2009)
attempted to minimize the ethical concerns by, among
other things, assuring volum
Informal social control Social
teers they could stop at any
concrete scared cu cesually
Dy dry papierojgr such
time, guaranteeing they could
anses tegutses and keep the money they were
paid for volunteering even if
they stopped, and ending the
experiment immediately after the 150-volt level when
the learner” asked for the experiment to stop, at which
point the true nature of the experiment was revealed and
the learner was shown to be unharmed. Burger found that
65 percent of his subjects continued to administer what
they thought were shocks until the end.
Milgram concluded that we are willing to do things we
would otherwise not do, including inflicting pain, when
a person in a position of authority tells us to do so. He
pointed out that, in modern society, we are accustomed to
submitting to impersonal authority figures whose status
is indicated by a title (pro-
fessor, president, doc-
tor) or by a uniform
(police officer, army
Because we deler
to authority, we
bility for our
behavior to the
INFORMAL AND FORMAL
In addition to being horizontal and vertical, social control
can be formal and informal. As the term implies, people use
informal social control casttally to enforce norms. Examples
include smiles, laughter, a raised eyebrow
and ridicule. We seek to read such cues
in new situations such as a first date
or a job interview so that we might
adjust our behavior accordingly.
A participant in the
Photo on the im
Alexar de Mar
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