Free Essay Sample «Milgram’s Experiment»

«Milgram’s Experiment»

Milgram’s experiment took place in the interaction lab of Yale University. 40 males in the ages of 20-50 were involved in this experiment. The sample represents a wide range of professions that are typically high school teachers, postal clerks, engineers, salesmen, and laborers. The goal of Milgram’s experiment was to find out how physical punishment effects on learning process in the frames of phenomenon of obedience. In order to complete experiment, the group of people in a class was subdivided to teachers and learners. These roles were written on slips of paper and each person got one. Then learners one by one were tested on “electric chair” with different shock mode options so that they get no burns but pain. Teachers named words and learners built pairs, and if they failed they were punished with electric shock. As the result of the experiment, the majority of subjects showed nervous behavior, tension, sweating, biting lips, digging fingernails in their flesh, trembling, etc., and 14 of 40 showed laughter that was distinctly out of place. 5 of 40 refused to obey commands beyond the 300-V level. Four refused to participate after one shock. 26 of 40 obeyed experimental commands.

This experiment revealed the interrelation between fear of physical punishment and obedience. The researcher even did not expect the extremely high tension evoked by the fear of electrical shock and the degree of pain, caused by electricity up to 375V. If 26 of 40 persons obeyed experimental commands, then electric shock matter increases the level of obedience in the learning process.

However, this experiment can be considered as unethical, as it consists of extremely painful procedures of electric shock that rises up to around 400V. Human organism reacts negatively on such a procedure, both physically and psychologically. Therefore, there is no need to provide this kind of experiments in future, no matter how effective they can be.



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