Milgram vs. Baumrind

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When individuals disregard their freedom for the good of the whole, they are no longer considered individuals but products of conformity. Stanley Milgram, a Yale psychologist, engineered an experiment to test the ordinary person’s level of obedience. Many of Milgram’s colleagues admired his intricate experiment, and thought that he provided valid information on the complexity of obedience. One of his colleagues, Diana Baumrind, however, strongly disagreed with Milgram and has good reasons to criticize his experiment. She thought his experiment was unethical and very harmful to the social well-being of the participants. In her article, “Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience”, she castigated Milgram’s experiment and provided valid points as to why tests such as Milgram’s should not continue. Both Milgram and Baumrind are obviously concerned with values and effectiveness, but they see them differently which is credible in their writings.

Milgram’s experiment was called “The Perils of Obedience”, which included a teacher, a learner, and an experimenter. The experiment was designed to test the obedience level of the teacher. The experimenter sat behind the teacher taking notes and encouraging them to continue the experiment if they ever felt the need to stop. The teacher was told that they were involved in the experiment to see how electric shocks affected the memory pattern of the learner. Each time the learner answered a question wrong, the teacher was required to shock them, and each additional wrong answer resulted in a greater voltage. The learner did not receive any real electric shocks, but they acted like they had so that the teacher would believe that they were getting hurt each time he or she flipped a switch. After the experiment is terminated, the teacher is informed that the real test was on their obedience to the experimenter. In other words, Milgram’s experiment was designed to "test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on...
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