Ethical Issues Arising from Social Experiments
The following experiments were unethical to the participants. Some of their treatment was inhumane. The experiments broke moral principles and rules of conduct. There are many examples and evidence when these following events occurred. Such as in The Milgram Obedience experiment the participants were put through intentional deception. In A Class Divided: Jane Elliot, the participants (students) were put into high stress. In The Harlow Affection experiment the approach was inhumane because the rhesus monkey was not cared for as well as it should have been. As for the Standford Prison Experiment, confidentiality was broken, the participants were treated inhumane, and by putting them in solitary confinement the participants ran the risk of mental health. For all of the experiments the ends did not justify the means.
In turn, in the Milgram Obedience experiment, The following APA guidelines were broken by deception. Deception was involved; participants were informed that they were testing the effect of discipline on concentration when in fact they themselves were the ones being tested on to research obedience to authority. I feel as it was unnecessary to deceive the participants of the true purpose of the experiments because they could have taken a different approach. Many of the participants did not leave in the same state the entered the experiment and many left stressed. Breaking the APA guideline of protection to the participants was also unnecessary. By letting the participants think that they possibly killed someone was putting the participants’ mental health at risk. The participants had been abused and not enough was done to protect them from psychological damage. Another APA guideline that was broken was when they did not allow the participants to withdraw from the experiment when the participants wanted to. This could have enhanced the stress of the participants. In this case the ends did not justify the means.
With this in mind, more APA guidelines were broken when it comes to A Class Divided: Jane Eliot. In this experiment there were quite a few APA guidelines broken such as deception. The children were deceived by making some of the children feel worthless when they were told that blue eyed people were better than brown eyed people. Then the roles swapped and brown eyed people were better than blue eyed people. By presenting this to the children this probably caused them to have psychological distress. Another APA guideline that was broken was consent was not obtained from the parents. APA guidelines state that when it comes to children under the age of sixteen are deemed not to be old enough to give consent. Therefore permission must be sought out from parents or guardians. The children in this experiment were third graders of the age of nine. Hence consent must have been sought out to the parents. Since the children were unaware that that they were in an experiment; the children did not even have a chance to withdraw from the experiment, thus this breaking the APA guideline of immediate withdraw. When it comes to experimenting with children these guidelines should be taken serious. In this experiment the ends do not justify the means.
In essence, in the Harlow Affection Experiment APA guidelines for animal research were broken. The experiment done on these rhesus monkeys were unethical. The APA guideline: caring for the animal in a humane way was broken. The experiment inflected devastating effects of maternal deprivation and isolation to the rhesus monkey. His experiment was unethical and cruel. These intelligent species were treated appallingly by scaring them with petrifying machines. This procedure causes distress. Due to inhumane treatment to the rhesus monkey, the monkey was unable to develop normal social relationships with other members of its species. The rhesus monkey was picked on by other monkeys who see...
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