This essay will discuss Milgram’s study on obedience to authority and the ethical issues it raised for social psychology. To do this one must discuss how people are in fact extremely obedient to authority, how effective Milgram’s study was, how the Holocaust can be explained using Milgram’s study and the controversies it raised due to the experiment’s ethical issues. Before discussing Milgram’s study we must look at what he did before.
Stanley Milgram was born in 1933 in New York to Jewish parents Adele and Samuel Milgram. During his graduate studies, Milgram spent one year working as a research assistant along side Solomon Asch. Asch’s conformity experiment inspired Milgram and he later went on to conduct a similar experiment.
(Retrieved November 5th, 2013, from http://faculty.frostburg.edu/mbradley/psyography/stanleymilgram.html)
He graduated from Queens University New York with a Bachelor degree in Political science and later on graduated from Harvard University with a Ph.D in Social Psychology. He began working in Yale University in 1960 where he became one of America’s most influential psychologists. It was here he conducted his obedience to authority experiments. In these experiments, participants were ordered by an authority figure to deliver increasing electrical shocks to a learner who was strapped to a chair in another room. In reality the learner was a confederate in the experiment and was just pretending to be shocked. Remarkably, 65% of the participants delivered the maximum shock of 450volts under pressurizing orders from the authority figure.
Milgram then became an assistant professor in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard in the summer of 1963 and later became a lecturer until 1967. He was never offered tenure due to the controversy of his obedience experiments. (2013, Retrieved November 5th, 2013, from, http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesmz/p/Stanley-milgram-biography.htm ).
On studying this experiment it is clear...