Research Ethics: The Milgram Study and APA Ethical Guidelines

How does the Milgram study violate today’s APA Ethical Guidelines. What are your thoughts about how it could have been conducted differently, as well as whether or not you believe it should have been conducted?

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How the Milgram study violates today’s APA Ethical Guidelines:

The APA ethical guidelines serve the purpose of ensuring that the welfare of experimental subjects by putting limits on what the experimenter can or cannot do, as well as what he/she must do to the subject under study.

Milgram’s obedience research experiments used deception in psychological research, where Milgram deceived the participants that he was administering painful electric shocks to another subject who really was not receiving the shocks, in order to determine how obedient the person can be under great physical distress to authority figures rather than using their human conscience.

The APA ethical guidelines require that participants in an experiment not be deceived as to the purpose of the experiment. In addition APA guidelines prohibit deception of participants if the experiment they are taking part in has the potential of causing physical or emotional harm to the participants. Researchers are required to inform the participants as soon as the research is over of the use of deception in order to minimize any psychological harm.

Milgram’s experiment violated section eight of the APA ethical rules on deception by having participants harm people they thought were fellow participants, which resulted to perceived physical damage to those given shocks and …

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