To be deceived by a friend or loved one, is quite an upsetting experience for somebody to have to go through; and would be something which would be quite hard to overcome.
But what if you were deceived during a case study? Is being deceived a way to help others and yourself around you, understand the human mind more? Or could deception cause unknown psychological complications to the client taking part in the study?
Stanley Milgram was interested in human behaviour, so compiled a study whereby he recruited 40 male participants; each believing they were taking part in a study on the role of punishment in learning and memory.
He conducted this experiment to find out why the German people, could permit the extermination of the Jews? Were they just following orders?
He wanted to measure how people would obey instructions regardless if they were morally wrong.
The experimenter who was part of the study wore a lab coat to display his authority over the two participants; either teacher or learner?
Who the experimenter claimed he randomly chose as teacher or learner, was always fixed so that the experimenter’s accomplice was always the learner and would be answering the questions.
More information on Milgrams obedience study can be viewed here; It’s an interesting watch… go see..
Before the experiment had started the experiment, the learner described himself as having a heart condition; but wasn’t serious. This set the seen and basically the teacher would read out a series of questions to the learner and administer an electric shock; should the learner answer the question incorrectly.
Each time the voltage of the shocks would increase for ever wrong answer given.
Milgram would then study how the teacher would react to giving the shocks. When the participants became distressed and asked to stop, the experimenter used prompts to suggest they must continue with the experiment. “You must continue, it’s necessary”.
The results although shocking, found that the study identified the concept of social behaviour and how far people would go to appease to be obedient to a figure of authority.
The fact that the participants had through they had caused suffering to another human being could have caused huge psychological effect. With Milgrams obedience study (1963) and later the Stanford prison study (Philip Zimbardo’s, 1971), deception was added into the British Psychological society (BPS) of ethical guidelines.
Author, M. Cardwell, L. Clark & C. Meldrum (). Psychology for A Level, Second edition COLLINS