• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Milgrams study on obedience more or less ethical than Hoflings?

Extracts from this document...


Is Milgrams study on obedience more or less ethical than Hoflings? In order to answer this question as fully as possible, I must first be sure to fully understand the meaning of 'ethical'. The Oxford English dictionary, define ethics to be, 'the moral principles governing or influencing conduct. The branch of knowledge concerned with moral principles'. With this in mind, I can now begin to compare the studies, and decide whether Hoflings study breeched as many moral principles as Milgrams. Milgram could not tell his participants that they were to be involved in an experiment testing their readiness to obey an authority figure, as a typical person would then deliberately resist any pressure put on them to obey, and it is unlikely they would have perceived the authority figure to be legitimate. ...read more.


Modern ethical standards assert that participants in any experiment must not be deceived, and that they must be made aware of any consequences. In the interest of fairness, follow up research, performed after the experiment, indicated that there were no long term psychological effects on the participants. However, the fact that these people thought that they had caused suffering to another human being, could have caused severe emotional distress. In both Milgram and Hoflings study, the protection of the participant's feelings was not taken into consideration during the study, (although they were debriefed afterwards). Protection of participants from psychological harm is the act of doing the best to ensure that participants do not come to psychological harm during or after the study. Whether this be stress or long term, it is important that studies avoid this in every way possible. ...read more.


The difference is the Hoflings nurses did not know they were involved in an experiment, in their role as nurses; it is the norm to accept orders from the higher authority of a doctor. A further ethical concern with Milgrams study was that the participants were filmed, without consent, which breeches confidentiality. However, they were aware they were involved in an experiment, and therefore knew that they were being observed. They offered themselves for the experiment when they responded in an advert in the paper looking for participants. Hoflings nurse were unaware of any involvement in an experiment. In conclusion, both experiments breeched ethics, and the experiments would not be acceptable today. The ethics breached were very similar, and to answer the question posed is Hoflings more or less ethical? I am of the opinion that Hoflings although more ecologically valid, was less ethical, on the grounds of there being no consent whatsoever to the study. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jennifer Pinch Humanities access, evening 2011203 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically evaluate whether Milgrams research on obedience was ethical

    4 star(s)

    Milgram argued that although no informed consent was obtained, 84% of the participants said they were glad or very glad to have taken part in the experiment and that 74% had learned something of personal importance (americanscientist.org) [3 Jan 2010].

  2. Evaluation of Milgram's Obedience Study

    They also say that deception should not occur if the participant will be unhappy with the true nature of the experiment. Baumrind argues that there was an unnecessarily large amount of deception involved in the study. She believed that the experiment had poor cost and benefit analysis meaning that the deception outweighed the rewards.

  1. Conformity & Obedience to Authority.

    * The teacher then sat in a separate room with the shock generator and asked the learner a series of memory questions. The learner would then respond via a light system, and if he responded wrongly, the teacher pressed a 15-volt button.

  2. Should Milgram's experiments on obedience even have been conducted?

    The scale was also labelled from 'slight shock' to 'danger' or 'XXX'. At 75 volts the learner began to grunt. At 120 volts the learner shouts that the shocks are painful, and at 150 volts he cries out that he refuses to go on.

  1. Why do we obey authority?

    As the Prisoners became more passive, the Guards aggression increased. The Guards went out of their way to create uncomfortable tasks for the Prisoners and their abuse intensified. After only thirty six hours one Prisoner developed symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  2. In relation to Milgrams (1963) study into obedience, describe and discuss the ethical issues ...

    In truth nobody was being electrocuted. A tape recorder with screams that were already recorded was hooked up to play each time the teacher administered a shock. When the shocks got to a higher voltage, the actor (learner) would bang on the wall and ask the teacher to stop.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work