Torture at Yale: Experimental subjects, laboratory torment and the “rehabilitation” of Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority

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Please read: Discovering Psychology, Sixth Edition with DSM5 Update by Hockenbury Chapter 11&Read the article ”Torture at Yale: Experimental subjects, laboratory torment and the “rehabilitation” of Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority”  (‘OBEDIENCE ARTICLE’ POSTED IN THE MODULE)

1. 

ARTICLE QUESTION 

Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies are some of the most controversial in the history of psychology. The results were shocking (no pun intended!), but they also prompted a heated debate about the ethics of subjecting participants to a potentially very upsetting research experience. After reading the article ”Torture at Yale: Experimental subjects, laboratory torment and the rehabilitation of Milgram’s Obedience to Authority” and the book chapter coverage about these experiments, tell us what you think. According to the article, Milgram’s practices were not as ethical as he claimed. Did you change your opinion about the validity of Milgram’s findings after reading the article? Do you think that his findings can be applied to draw conclusions about the Holocaust and other horrific events? 

Is it ethical to torment and trick subjects into potentially obeying an authority figure in the name of science? Are the findings from these studies so valuable to our understanding of obedience (especially for the understanding of such events as the Abu Ghraib incident) that the ends justify the means? Have we gone so far in protecting research subjects from any harm that this protection prevents us from making important findings in psychology research?

2.

CONFORMITY

The book describes the common practice of conforming to group pressure. Can you identify a situation in which you or someone else went along with a group against your/their better judgment? Which of the factors mentioned in the book might have influenced you/them to conform?

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