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1. Should a psychological study...<br />Put the participants wellbeing first?<br />Put the knowledge and understanding of human behaviour first...?<br…
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  • 1. Should a psychological study...<br />Put the participants wellbeing first?<br />Put the knowledge and understanding of human behaviour first...?<br />Which is the most important thing??<br />
  • 2. Debates: Milgram (1963)<br />Looking into whether Milgram’s research can be justified.<br />
  • 3. Milgram (1963)<br />As we know, Milgram’sexperiment is one of the most controversial psychological studies ever carried out.<br />It is incredibly unethical by today’s standards of research and has been heavily criticised.<br />Psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim argued; “These experiments are so vile, the intention with which they were engaged in is so vile, that nothing these experiments show has any value.”<br />But do you agree?<br />
  • 4. However...<br />Psychologists must weigh up the costs against the benefits.<br />They must ask; “What are the costs to the participants versus the benefits of understanding that can be gained from the results?”<br />
  • 5. Task...<br />Complete the handout by filling in a definition of the ethical issue raised...<br />Then produce an argument that defends why Milgram had to break it...<br />And one that criticises him for breaking it...<br />
  • 6. Deception<br />The entire experiment was a hoax!<br />It had nothing to do with punishment and learning.<br />Nearly all the participants interviewed after the study said that they believed they had been shocking the learner.<br />
  • 7. Deception<br />Milgram argued that “illusion is used when necessary in order to set the stage for the revelation of certain difficult-to-get-at-truths”.<br />Milgram also interviewed participants afterwards to find out the effect of the deception. Apparently 83.7% said that they were “glad to be in the experiment”.<br />1.3% said that they wished they had not been involved.<br />
  • 8. Deception<br />Does that make it okay?<br />Deception is often necessary, but to what lengths might an experimenter go?<br />How do you respond to Milgram’s defence?<br />
  • 9. Informed Consent<br />Informed consent was not possible – why?<br />Participants were (according to Milgram), “misinformed”.<br />He prefers this expression to “deceived”?<br />What is the difference between the two expressions?<br />What difference does it make to Milgram versus what difference does it make to the participant?<br />
  • 10. Informed Consent<br />Milgram argued that there are two ways of dealing with the ‘problem’ of informed consent;<br /><ul><li>Prior general consent: obtaining consent from participants and informing that they may be misinformed about its purpose.
  • 11. Presumptive consent: ask people not taking part whether they think the experiment is acceptable and how they think the participants will react.</li></li></ul><li>Protection of Participants<br />“I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident. Within 20 minutes he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching a point of nervous collapse...”<br />(An observer’s account taken from Milgram, 1963)<br />
  • 12. Protection of Participants<br />According to Milgram, many participants showed signs of nervous tension; especially when administering high voltage shocks.<br />Another sign of tension was the appearance of nervous laughter.<br />Full blown seizures were observed for 3 participants; one so violent that the experiment was stopped.<br />
  • 13. Protection of Participants<br />In his defence, Milgram argued that these effects were only short term.<br />Additionally what had been the original prediction from the many psychologists about what would happen in these studies?<br />So Milgram argued that he didn’t expect it!<br />Milgram also interviewed the participants one year after the event and concluded that most were happy that they had taken part.<br />
  • 14. The Right to Withdraw<br />The BPS states that researchers should make it plain to participants that they are free to withdraw at any time (regardless of payment).<br />Did Milgram give participants an opportunity to withdraw?<br />
  • 15. The Right to Withdraw<br />Milgram referred to his participants as “volunteers”.<br />Why does this effect the “right to withdraw” more than if he called them participants?<br />
  • 16. The Right to Withdraw<br />Participants were told that “the money was theirs” just for coming to the laboratory; but they were not told that they could withdraw at any time.<br />In fact the whole point was that they didn’t withdraw!<br />How was withdrawal made difficult?<br />
  • 17. The Right to Withdraw<br />The experimenter gave three verbal prods which essentially discouraged withdrawal from the experiment:<br />Please continue. Or Please go on.<br />The experiment requires that you continue.<br />It is absolutely essential that you continue.<br />You have no other choice, you must go on.<br />
  • 18. The Right to Withdraw<br />Are the verbal prods justified?<br />Which of them do you think makes it most difficult for the participant to withdraw from the experiment?<br />Milgram argued that they are justified as the order for the participants to continue was the key to the study.<br />
  • 19. Debriefing<br />The BPS ethical guidelines state that participants must be debriefed after an experiment.<br />They must be made aware of the nature of the research and any deception should be revealed.<br />Did this happen with Milgram?<br />
  • 20. Debriefing<br />After the study, all participants were given interviews and psychological tests to ensure that they left the laboratory in a state of “wellbeing”.<br />They were told not to feel ashamed and that their behaviour was normal.<br />They were united with the “learner” and shook hands with them.<br />Participants were later sent a summary of the results and a questionnaire about their participation (in which over 80% said that they were happy to have taken part.<br />
  • 21. The Rules of Debating...<br />Each team must have:<br /><ul><li>Someone to present their main argument.
  • 22. Someone to second the argument with any criticisms of the other team’s argument.
  • 23. Someone to take minutes of the debate (i.e. Write down what happens)
  • 24. Someone should give the other team a score and their reasons why.
  • 25. The rest should prepare a question to ask the other team and work on a visual aid for the team</li></li></ul><li>In your groups...<br />Group 1, your task is to argue in the defence of Milgram and his experiment.<br />Group 2, your task is to argue the case against Milgram and his experiment.<br />Sort out who is doing what today! <br />Prepare your pieces together as much as you can today and finish for prep.<br />
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