In the article, the procedure of the experiment in a laboratory is described. It involves a participant who gives a victim increasing electric shocks as punishments in the context of a learning experiment. In this environment some of the subjects experienced very high levels of nervous tension, which was not ordinary responses to an experiment.
Baumrind, who is a psychologist, believes that it’s not acceptable to test peoples obedience to authority in a laboratory because Milgrams study is not significant to how humans react in real life. It is normal for the participants to believe that their self esteem will be protected, that’s why they tend to behave in a more obedient way in the laboratory than in the real world. She also doesn’t see any similarity between Hitlers Germany and Milgrams experimental environment, because the members of the German Officer Corps who were ordered to kill, were not concerned about their victims. They saw them as subhumans, so they didn’t feel guilt or compassion. On the other hand, the subjects in Milgrams experiment felt responsibility for their actions.
Another argument in the article is whether Milgrams experiment was ethical or not, as the experimenter is supposed to prevent his subjects from becoming humiliated and emotionally disturbed. The author criticizes Milgram for being unconcerned about the subjects feelings, and only focusing on seeing the results of the experiment.
Dr Baumrind also asserts that an experiment such as Milgrams, which has a high risk of doing harm to the subjects self esteem and trust in the authorities, may cause damage to them in the long run. That’s why the experimenter should take these risks into consideration, plan his methods...