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Milgram's experiment

rross
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6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember. They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture. If they thought, This can't be happening, they were right. It wasn't happening.

Milgram's experiment is more science-theater than science. It's a demonstration of a phenomenon that was framed before the study was designed. It proves nothing, although I can understand it would have been useful to soothe people post war, maybe.

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

So I'm thinking, is there a legitimate place in science for this kind of performance art? Or should we be saying eek no too gimmicky?
Chaosism
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6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember. They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture. If they thought, This can't be happening, they were right. It wasn't happening.

As I understand, the subjects did believe that they were bringing harm to another person. Isn't it true that they provided psychiatric care or evaluation as a precautionary measure to subjects once the trial was completed? As far as I know, such an experiment would not per permissible by modern ethics.

Milgram's experiment is more science-theater than science. It's a demonstration of a phenomenon that was framed before the study was designed. It proves nothing, although I can understand it would have been useful to soothe people post war, maybe.

Wasn't this the beginnings of formal study on this particular matter? Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

But such things can be explored more formally to gain insight on the strength of the tendency, as well as other potential influences, right?

So I'm thinking, is there a legitimate place in science for this kind of performance art? Or should we be saying eek no too gimmicky?
rross
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6/30/2016 5:16:44 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember. They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture. If they thought, This can't be happening, they were right. It wasn't happening.

As I understand, the subjects did believe that they were bringing harm to another person. Isn't it true that they provided psychiatric care or evaluation as a precautionary measure to subjects once the trial was completed? As far as I know, such an experiment would not per permissible by modern ethics.

Yeah, there are ethical issues with it.

About what the subjects believed. They didn't assess it and anyway to do so would be assuming that people have perfect insight into the basis of their decisions and actions which we know is untrue.

Milgram's experiment is more science-theater than science. It's a demonstration of a phenomenon that was framed before the study was designed. It proves nothing, although I can understand it would have been useful to soothe people post war, maybe.

Wasn't this the beginnings of formal study on this particular matter?

Was it?

Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

I never heard that, but it would be consistent with this tradition in psychology of gimmicky-demonstration type studies.

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

But such things can be explored more formally to gain insight on the strength of the tendency, as well as other potential influences, right?

Idk what you mean by "such things" and "strength of the tendency". Given that I believe the experiment shows nothing much.

So I'm thinking, is there a legitimate place in science for this kind of performance art? Or should we be saying eek no too gimmicky?
rross
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6/30/2016 5:19:52 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
But such things can be explored more formally to gain insight on the strength of the tendency, as well as other potential influences, right?

Sorry. I see what you mean now. Yes. I suppose so. In theory. Maybe.
Chaosism
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7/1/2016 1:56:54 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/30/2016 5:16:44 PM, rross wrote:
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember. They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture. If they thought, This can't be happening, they were right. It wasn't happening.

As I understand, the subjects did believe that they were bringing harm to another person. Isn't it true that they provided psychiatric care or evaluation as a precautionary measure to subjects once the trial was completed? As far as I know, such an experiment would not per permissible by modern ethics.

Yeah, there are ethical issues with it.

About what the subjects believed. They didn't assess it and anyway to do so would be assuming that people have perfect insight into the basis of their decisions and actions which we know is untrue.

The subjects have to be fooled into thinking the experiment is genuine, or else the results will be affected, as per the Hawthorne Effect. In such studies, if a subject shows suspicions about being tested or evaluated, then said subject's results should be discarded. This makes it tricky to stay within ethical guidelines, sometimes.

Milgram's experiment is more science-theater than science. It's a demonstration of a phenomenon that was framed before the study was designed. It proves nothing, although I can understand it would have been useful to soothe people post war, maybe.

Wasn't this the beginnings of formal study on this particular matter?

Was it?

I don't know, exactly, but I couldn't find any previous studies on this exact matter. That's why I framed it in the form of a question.

Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

I never heard that, but it would be consistent with this tradition in psychology of gimmicky-demonstration type studies.

I couldn't find any significant info on it, but Gina Perry (an Australian psychologist) claimed that Milgram had manipulated the results. I don't know if this accusation was affirmed or even addressed, though.

Can you please elaborate on the reasons that you say that this experiment was "gimmicky"?

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

But such things can be explored more formally to gain insight on the strength of the tendency, as well as other potential influences, right?

Idk what you mean by "such things" and "strength of the tendency". Given that I believe the experiment shows nothing much.

So I'm thinking, is there a legitimate place in science for this kind of performance art? Or should we be saying eek no too gimmicky?
Akhenaten
Posts: 854
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7/3/2016 3:00:53 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I believe this experiment greatly underestimates negative human behavior when somebody has power of authority over another human being. In reality, when there are no restrictions or consequences of brutal, inhumane and immoral behavior, then anything is possible. Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, Stalin and Kim Jong Il; all have shown what humans are capable of if left unrestrained, uninhibited and unrestricted.
rross
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7/4/2016 1:39:12 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 3:00:53 PM, Akhenaten wrote:
I believe this experiment greatly underestimates negative human behavior when somebody has power of authority over another human being. In reality, when there are no restrictions or consequences of brutal, inhumane and immoral behavior, then anything is possible. Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, Stalin and Kim Jong Il; all have shown what humans are capable of if left unrestrained, uninhibited and unrestricted.

Well, yes. Exactly. We have history, which makes me wonder why we need Milgram's "experiment" anyway? What does it add?
rross
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7/4/2016 1:43:06 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/1/2016 1:56:54 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 5:16:44 PM, rross wrote:
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember. They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture. If they thought, This can't be happening, they were right. It wasn't happening.

As I understand, the subjects did believe that they were bringing harm to another person. Isn't it true that they provided psychiatric care or evaluation as a precautionary measure to subjects once the trial was completed? As far as I know, such an experiment would not per permissible by modern ethics.

Yeah, there are ethical issues with it.

About what the subjects believed. They didn't assess it and anyway to do so would be assuming that people have perfect insight into the basis of their decisions and actions which we know is untrue.

The subjects have to be fooled into thinking the experiment is genuine, or else the results will be affected, as per the Hawthorne Effect. In such studies, if a subject shows suspicions about being tested or evaluated, then said subject's results should be discarded. This makes it tricky to stay within ethical guidelines, sometimes.

Yeah, but that's assuming that people have insight into their own decision-making processes, when it's clear that they don't necessarily. So them declaring that they believe it to be genuine (even if Milgram had included such a check, and I don't believe he did) wouldn't be enough to discount other influences.

Milgram's experiment is more science-theater than science. It's a demonstration of a phenomenon that was framed before the study was designed. It proves nothing, although I can understand it would have been useful to soothe people post war, maybe.

Wasn't this the beginnings of formal study on this particular matter?

Was it?

I don't know, exactly, but I couldn't find any previous studies on this exact matter. That's why I framed it in the form of a question.

Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

I never heard that, but it would be consistent with this tradition in psychology of gimmicky-demonstration type studies.

I couldn't find any significant info on it, but Gina Perry (an Australian psychologist) claimed that Milgram had manipulated the results. I don't know if this accusation was affirmed or even addressed, though.

Can you please elaborate on the reasons that you say that this experiment was "gimmicky"?

It doesn't really discover anything about human behavior; it demonstrates something, which the experimenters had in mind already. It's slick. It's a message that can be cited and used to make an argument. A lot of studies in psychology are like that. They're more marketing of preformed ideas than science.

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

But such things can be explored more formally to gain insight on the strength of the tendency, as well as other potential influences, right?

Idk what you mean by "such things" and "strength of the tendency". Given that I believe the experiment shows nothing much.

So I'm thinking, is there a legitimate place in science for this kind of performance art? Or should we be saying eek no too gimmicky?
Akhenaten
Posts: 854
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7/4/2016 4:58:25 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 1:39:12 AM, rross wrote:
At 7/3/2016 3:00:53 PM, Akhenaten wrote:
I believe this experiment greatly underestimates negative human behavior when somebody has power of authority over another human being. In reality, when there are no restrictions or consequences of brutal, inhumane and immoral behavior, then anything is possible. Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, Stalin and Kim Jong Il; all have shown what humans are capable of if left unrestrained, uninhibited and unrestricted.

Well, yes. Exactly. We have history, which makes me wonder why we need Milgram's "experiment" anyway? What does it add?

It proves that you don't have to be a psychopath to commit an atrocity. Any person off the street is capable of committing horrendous mass murder given the right circumstances and opportunities. Mass murder is in our DNA. Millions of years of murder and mayhem can't be remedied in a few hundred years of being civilized. Under the pretense of civilization lies the primeval underbelly of savagery and death wish which we all share, like it or not.
rross
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7/4/2016 6:05:53 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 4:58:25 AM, Akhenaten wrote:
At 7/4/2016 1:39:12 AM, rross wrote:
At 7/3/2016 3:00:53 PM, Akhenaten wrote:
I believe this experiment greatly underestimates negative human behavior when somebody has power of authority over another human being. In reality, when there are no restrictions or consequences of brutal, inhumane and immoral behavior, then anything is possible. Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, Stalin and Kim Jong Il; all have shown what humans are capable of if left unrestrained, uninhibited and unrestricted.

Well, yes. Exactly. We have history, which makes me wonder why we need Milgram's "experiment" anyway? What does it add?

It proves that you don't have to be a psychopath to commit an atrocity. Any person off the street is capable of committing horrendous mass murder given the right circumstances and opportunities.

Except that, as I pointed out in the OP, it proves nothing of the kind.

Mass murder is in our DNA. Millions of years of murder and mayhem can't be remedied in a few hundred years of being civilized. Under the pretense of civilization lies the primeval underbelly of savagery and death wish which we all share, like it or not.

Sure. That's a nice idea. Science shouldn't be about illustrating nice ideas though. Should it? There's something really wrong if it's just a cute, modern alternative to traditional art forms.
keithprosser
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7/4/2016 3:59:15 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
It proves that you don't have to be a psychopath to commit an atrocity. Any person off the street is capable of committing horrendous mass murder given the right circumstances and opportunities.

Except that, as I pointed out in the OP, it proves nothing of the kind.


I don't think Milgram's experiment demonstrates that people harbour sadistic impulses awating only the opportunity to be expressed, so I'd omit the 'and opportunities' from the quote above. But it goes towards showing to what extent ordinary people can be led to suppress their natural empathy 'given the right circumstances'. It may be that is not a surprising conclusion, but

Reading the background material it is clear that few if any subjects actualy enjoyed adminstering the 'electric shocks' and many subjects were very unhappy about it - but they carried on anyway. As I said, its not postive sadism but empathy suppressed.

It's a pity I know about this experiment now because I can't help wondering what I would I do. Would I balk at inflicting pain or rationalise it someway may be as "this is not nice but it's for science"? It's not something a poll would reveal - its only by being in the situation for real (or 'pseudo-real')the truth would come out.
rross
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7/4/2016 4:46:43 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 3:59:15 PM, keithprosser wrote:
It proves that you don't have to be a psychopath to commit an atrocity. Any person off the street is capable of committing horrendous mass murder given the right circumstances and opportunities.

Except that, as I pointed out in the OP, it proves nothing of the kind.


I don't think Milgram's experiment demonstrates that people harbour sadistic impulses awating only the opportunity to be expressed, so I'd omit the 'and opportunities' from the quote above. But it goes towards showing to what extent ordinary people can be led to suppress their natural empathy 'given the right circumstances'. It may be that is not a surprising conclusion, but

Reading the background material it is clear that few if any subjects actualy enjoyed adminstering the 'electric shocks' and many subjects were very unhappy about it - but they carried on anyway. As I said, its not postive sadism but empathy suppressed.

It's a pity I know about this experiment now because I can't help wondering what I would I do. Would I balk at inflicting pain or rationalise it someway may be as "this is not nice but it's for science"? It's not something a poll would reveal - its only by being in the situation for real (or 'pseudo-real')the truth would come out.

You see how you used the words pseudo-real and truth in the same sentence there?
keithprosser
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7/4/2016 5:25:45 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
By the truth I meant what I would actually do in that situation, not what I would say I would do in a poll. I said 'pseudo-real' because the electric shocks in Milgram's experiment were faked, so it wouldn't be 'really real'.

Sorry for not being clear.
rross
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7/4/2016 5:44:32 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 5:25:45 PM, keithprosser wrote:
By the truth I meant what I would actually do in that situation, not what I would say I would do in a poll. I said 'pseudo-real' because the electric shocks in Milgram's experiment were faked, so it wouldn't be 'really real'.

Sorry for not being clear.

No, it was clear.
Akhenaten
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7/5/2016 1:30:07 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 6:05:53 AM, rross wrote:

Mass murder is in our DNA. Millions of years of murder and mayhem can't be remedied in a few hundred years of being civilized. Under the pretense of civilization lies the primeval underbelly of savagery and death wish which we all share, like it or not.

Sure. That's a nice idea. Science shouldn't be about illustrating nice ideas though. Should it? There's something really wrong if it's just a cute, modern alternative to traditional art forms.

If science unveils that humans are essentially evil. Then, all funding and support of that research will be immediately halted. That is the nature of human nature. Humans are essentially deceitful, egocentric and murderous. But they will do everything possible to cover this up and pretend that they are nice and civilized.
Axonly
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7/5/2016 3:57:09 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/5/2016 1:30:07 AM, Akhenaten wrote:
At 7/4/2016 6:05:53 AM, rross wrote:

Mass murder is in our DNA. Millions of years of murder and mayhem can't be remedied in a few hundred years of being civilized. Under the pretense of civilization lies the primeval underbelly of savagery and death wish which we all share, like it or not.

Sure. That's a nice idea. Science shouldn't be about illustrating nice ideas though. Should it? There's something really wrong if it's just a cute, modern alternative to traditional art forms.

If science unveils that humans are essentially evil. Then, all funding and support of that research will be immediately halted. That is the nature of human nature. Humans are essentially deceitful, egocentric and murderous. But they will do everything possible to cover this up and pretend that they are nice and civilized.

Like what you do in DDO, every day your on it.
Meh!
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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7/5/2016 1:32:15 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 1:43:06 AM, rross wrote:
At 7/1/2016 1:56:54 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 5:16:44 PM, rross wrote:
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:

The subjects have to be fooled into thinking the experiment is genuine, or else the results will be affected, as per the Hawthorne Effect. In such studies, if a subject shows suspicions about being tested or evaluated, then said subject's results should be discarded. This makes it tricky to stay within ethical guidelines, sometimes.

Yeah, but that's assuming that people have insight into their own decision-making processes, when it's clear that they don't necessarily. So them declaring that they believe it to be genuine (even if Milgram had included such a check, and I don't believe he did) wouldn't be enough to discount other influences.

No, but the more genuine the situation is, the more accurate to reality the results would be. There is no such thing as a perfect experiment that perfectly isolates all variables when dealing with behavior and psychology. This and repetition are required efforts.

Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

I never heard that, but it would be consistent with this tradition in psychology of gimmicky-demonstration type studies.

I couldn't find any significant info on it, but Gina Perry (an Australian psychologist) claimed that Milgram had manipulated the results. I don't know if this accusation was affirmed or even addressed, though.

Can you please elaborate on the reasons that you say that this experiment was "gimmicky"?

It doesn't really discover anything about human behavior; it demonstrates something, which the experimenters had in mind already. It's slick. It's a message that can be cited and used to make an argument. A lot of studies in psychology are like that. They're more marketing of preformed ideas than science.

But isn't demonstrability the heart of science and falsification? I don't think any single experiment should be strongly cited, but it helps to illustrate, explore, and test the original hypothesis. I'm sure marketing, as you say, plays some variable role in this, though. Do you think the Asch experiments about Conformity were gimmicky, as well?

(http://www.simplypsychology.org...)

What would you have in mind as an experiment to verify or test the notion of the influence of authority on human behavior?
Akhenaten
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7/5/2016 3:22:03 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/5/2016 3:57:09 AM, Axonly wrote:

Like what you do in DDO, every day your on it.

I was thinking of you when I wrote it. lol
keithprosser
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7/5/2016 4:25:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
It doesn't really discover anything about human behavior; it demonstrates something, which the experimenters had in mind already. It's slick. It's a message that can be cited and used to make an argument. A lot of studies in psychology are like that. They're more marketing of preformed ideas than science.

Before the experiment, what percentage of people would you expect to inflict the full voltage? Would it be just a very few, or would it be most of the population?

No-one with a functioning brain would suppose the Milgram experiment tells us everything there is to know about human nature, but on the other hand it does tell us something about human nature. It has practical implications - for example it suggests that low-level guards at Belsen who certainly assisted with the gassing of Jews were not neccessarily rabid anti-semites. Of course one could always have guessed that was the case, but if you are, for example, in the business of prosecting or defending war-criminals guesses aren't really good enough. The experiment suggests that the Nuremburg defence of 'only following orders' has some validity. Milgram's experiment is obvously not going to answer all the questions that can raised, but it is a start in removing guesswork and prejudice.

I'm certainly not saying Milgram provides a valid defence for war criminals. What I am saying is that it proves the idea that only evil people do evil things to be an over-simplification.
Axonly
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7/5/2016 8:45:51 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/5/2016 3:22:03 PM, Akhenaten wrote:
At 7/5/2016 3:57:09 AM, Axonly wrote:

Like what you do in DDO, every day your on it.

I was thinking of you when I wrote it. lol

Sure you were.
Meh!
AnnaCzereda
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7/5/2016 9:27:04 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember.

But they thought they were inflicting pain on other people. From what I read about this experiment during my studies many test subjects were greatly disturbed by the experiment. They suffered emotionally while they were "torturing" their "students." Nevertheless, they complied with the researchers' demands. All of that was very real for them. Moreover, the experiment was repeated using a real "learner"/victim, which was a puppy, and real though mild electric shocks. In this experiment most subjects also obeyed though they knew they were inflicting pain on the puppy.

http://holah.co.uk...

They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture.

So is torture inconsistent with a mental hospital yet electric shocks or even lobotomy were administered all for the good of the patients. You must understand that while the participants of any psychological experiment know that they are being tested, because they signed up for it and are usually paid for the participation, they don't know what exactly is being tested. The participants in Milgram's experiment thought the research was on learning and memory and possibly on the impact of the punishment on the effectiveness of learning.

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

It isn't necessary but it helps a lot to understand the human behavior. This experiment wasn't really about sadism but about conformity. It showed that normal people are ready to obey the authority figures even if it goes against their principles and even if it brings them emotional pain.
He wished to turn his countenance from the smoldering rubble, but saw from amidst the embers that a few chaff would not burn away. To these, he stared into the eye of God sneering, and called them, 'Promethean.'
Akhenaten
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7/6/2016 3:42:12 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
These types of experiments have been stopped because they reveal things about human nature that nobody wants to know. Thus, we will forever be in a constant state of ignorance in regards to the negative side of human nature. Thus, if you don't understand human nature you can never learn how to control it. Thus, humanity is doomed to repeat acts of violence and war.
rross
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7/6/2016 1:50:40 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/5/2016 9:27:04 PM, AnnaCzereda wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:
The people in milgram's experiment didn't actually inflict pain on other people, and that's important to remember.

But they thought they were inflicting pain on other people. From what I read about this experiment during my studies many test subjects were greatly disturbed by the experiment. They suffered emotionally while they were "torturing" their "students." Nevertheless, they complied with the researchers' demands. All of that was very real for them. Moreover, the experiment was repeated using a real "learner"/victim, which was a puppy, and real though mild electric shocks. In this experiment most subjects also obeyed though they knew they were inflicting pain on the puppy.

http://holah.co.uk...

I don't know about the puppy thing. Far worse than that has been done to animals in labs, so again I'm not sure how science is being advanced with that.

About the Milgram experiment, you seem very confident about what people believed, as most people are, and that's the problem. Suppose instead of conformity it was about trust? What if people thought, it seems weird but I'm sure this man wouldn't hurt people for no reason. If they felt that, then they were right. The man DIDN'T hurt people for no reason.

They were in a situation with conflicting information. They were in a hospital/university setting (can't remember which) that was inconsistent with torture. The manner of the researcher was inconsistent with torture.

So is torture inconsistent with a mental hospital yet electric shocks or even lobotomy were administered all for the good of the patients. You must understand that while the participants of any psychological experiment know that they are being tested, because they signed up for it and are usually paid for the participation, they don't know what exactly is being tested. The participants in Milgram's experiment thought the research was on learning and memory and possibly on the impact of the punishment on the effectiveness of learning.

But there are so many real life examples of people following orders to commit attrocities. Milgram's study isn't necessary to show that it happens.

It isn't necessary but it helps a lot to understand the human behavior. This experiment wasn't really about sadism but about conformity. It showed that normal people are ready to obey the authority figures even if it goes against their principles and even if it brings them emotional pain.

It didn't really show that. It's used to illustrate that concept though, yes.
rross
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7/6/2016 2:05:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/5/2016 1:32:15 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/4/2016 1:43:06 AM, rross wrote:
At 7/1/2016 1:56:54 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 5:16:44 PM, rross wrote:
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:

The subjects have to be fooled into thinking the experiment is genuine, or else the results will be affected, as per the Hawthorne Effect. In such studies, if a subject shows suspicions about being tested or evaluated, then said subject's results should be discarded. This makes it tricky to stay within ethical guidelines, sometimes.

Yeah, but that's assuming that people have insight into their own decision-making processes, when it's clear that they don't necessarily. So them declaring that they believe it to be genuine (even if Milgram had included such a check, and I don't believe he did) wouldn't be enough to discount other influences.

No, but the more genuine the situation is, the more accurate to reality the results would be. There is no such thing as a perfect experiment that perfectly isolates all variables when dealing with behavior and psychology. This and repetition are required efforts.

Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

I never heard that, but it would be consistent with this tradition in psychology of gimmicky-demonstration type studies.

I couldn't find any significant info on it, but Gina Perry (an Australian psychologist) claimed that Milgram had manipulated the results. I don't know if this accusation was affirmed or even addressed, though.

Can you please elaborate on the reasons that you say that this experiment was "gimmicky"?

It doesn't really discover anything about human behavior; it demonstrates something, which the experimenters had in mind already. It's slick. It's a message that can be cited and used to make an argument. A lot of studies in psychology are like that. They're more marketing of preformed ideas than science.

But isn't demonstrability the heart of science and falsification? I don't think any single experiment should be strongly cited, but it helps to illustrate, explore, and test the original hypothesis. I'm sure marketing, as you say, plays some variable role in this, though. Do you think the Asch experiments about Conformity were gimmicky, as well?

Now you mention it, yes maybe. I'll have to go back and re-read it, but it was an ambiguous situation. Maybe game-like.

But actually, I've always liked Asch's experiment because it FEELS so true. I really feel the pressure to not be the only dissenting voice, so that's why I like it. Kinda the way I like novels that speak to my own experience.

(http://www.simplypsychology.org...)

What would you have in mind as an experiment to verify or test the notion of the influence of authority on human behavior?

But what exactly is being tested? What would we be trying to find out that we don't already know?
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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7/6/2016 2:25:13 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:05:09 PM, rross wrote:
At 7/5/2016 1:32:15 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/4/2016 1:43:06 AM, rross wrote:
At 7/1/2016 1:56:54 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 5:16:44 PM, rross wrote:
At 6/30/2016 12:32:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 6/30/2016 10:27:58 AM, rross wrote:

The subjects have to be fooled into thinking the experiment is genuine, or else the results will be affected, as per the Hawthorne Effect. In such studies, if a subject shows suspicions about being tested or evaluated, then said subject's results should be discarded. This makes it tricky to stay within ethical guidelines, sometimes.

Yeah, but that's assuming that people have insight into their own decision-making processes, when it's clear that they don't necessarily. So them declaring that they believe it to be genuine (even if Milgram had included such a check, and I don't believe he did) wouldn't be enough to discount other influences.

No, but the more genuine the situation is, the more accurate to reality the results would be. There is no such thing as a perfect experiment that perfectly isolates all variables when dealing with behavior and psychology. This and repetition are required efforts.

Also, I believe that one of the criticisms of this experiment is that he was accused of manipulating the results.

I never heard that, but it would be consistent with this tradition in psychology of gimmicky-demonstration type studies.

I couldn't find any significant info on it, but Gina Perry (an Australian psychologist) claimed that Milgram had manipulated the results. I don't know if this accusation was affirmed or even addressed, though.

Can you please elaborate on the reasons that you say that this experiment was "gimmicky"?

It doesn't really discover anything about human behavior; it demonstrates something, which the experimenters had in mind already. It's slick. It's a message that can be cited and used to make an argument. A lot of studies in psychology are like that. They're more marketing of preformed ideas than science.

But isn't demonstrability the heart of science and falsification? I don't think any single experiment should be strongly cited, but it helps to illustrate, explore, and test the original hypothesis. I'm sure marketing, as you say, plays some variable role in this, though. Do you think the Asch experiments about Conformity were gimmicky, as well?

Now you mention it, yes maybe. I'll have to go back and re-read it, but it was an ambiguous situation. Maybe game-like.

But actually, I've always liked Asch's experiment because it FEELS so true. I really feel the pressure to not be the only dissenting voice, so that's why I like it. Kinda the way I like novels that speak to my own experience.

Both experiments aim to isolate a specific behavioral phenomena, and their difference requires different dynamics and methods. I'm not sure how else one would test the influences of authority without an established authority figure (if I'm understanding your 'dissenting voice' remark correctly).

(http://www.simplypsychology.org...)

What would you have in mind as an experiment to verify or test the notion of the influence of authority on human behavior?

But what exactly is being tested? What would we be trying to find out that we don't already know?

Not all experimentation has to be novel. Verification and affirmation of currently held hypothesis is necessary, as well.
AnnaCzereda
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7/7/2016 10:07:19 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:50:40 PM, rross wrote:
About the Milgram experiment, you seem very confident about what people believed, as most people are, and that's the problem.

During every experiment the researcher's task is to observe the emotions of the subjects. If people get agitated or disturbed and their words or body language betray the signs of nervousness, then it means they fell for the trick.

Suppose instead of conformity it was about trust? What if people thought, it seems weird but I'm sure this man wouldn't hurt people for no reason. If they felt that, then they were right. The man DIDN'T hurt people for no reason.

Of course, they had total trust in the authority figure. That's the crux of the matter.
He wished to turn his countenance from the smoldering rubble, but saw from amidst the embers that a few chaff would not burn away. To these, he stared into the eye of God sneering, and called them, 'Promethean.'
keithprosser
Posts: 1,943
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7/8/2016 7:25:57 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
But what exactly is being tested? What would we be trying to find out that we don't already know?

Checking what we 'already know' is actually true is an essential part of science. Most great scientific discoveries got made by finding out that what we thought we knew was wrong. Everybody 'knew' that the expansion of the universe was slowing down, until somebody checked and found it wasn't.
Akhenaten
Posts: 854
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7/9/2016 12:59:07 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:07:19 PM, AnnaCzereda wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:50:40 PM, rross wrote:
About the Milgram experiment, you seem very confident about what people believed, as most people are, and that's the problem.

During every experiment the researcher's task is to observe the emotions of the subjects. If people get agitated or disturbed and their words or body language betray the signs of nervousness, then it means they fell for the trick.

Suppose instead of conformity it was about trust? What if people thought, it seems weird but I'm sure this man wouldn't hurt people for no reason. If they felt that, then they were right. The man DIDN'T hurt people for no reason.

Of course, they had total trust in the authority figure. That's the crux of the matter.

The crux of the matter is that the research was stopped and no further investigations into negative human behaviour have been continued.