RESPONSE 1 (SYLVIA): Part 1
One experiment that always stands out in my mind in terms of ethics is Milgram’s experience on obedience and authority. Perhaps this draw comes from the almost militant quality this experiment has in the regards to how far the human psyche can be pushed in response to authoritative prompting. Another fascination I have in regards to this experiment is that Milgram sought out to test how far someone could be pushed past their own personal coconscious beliefs when prompted by an authority figure in an effort to bring some insight to the German soldiers who stated they were just following orders during the horrific events that took place during WWII. In doing so he pushed volunteers from differing backgrounds and professions to administer increasing levels of shock to another human being (or so they thought) as directed by an experiment authority figure. While no individual was actually shocked during this experiment, there was psychological harm done to those who were being directed to administer the shock. Many of these individuals had saw some of their darker potentials to inflict harm on another human being (something that they did not think they were capable of prior to this experiment) and suffered short- and long-term psychological distress as a result. While I do believe there is undeniable insight gained from this experiment and the potential we all have in respect to how far we may go when we believe or trust the person of authority above us, I can see that it came with a cost. Looking back, I think that perhaps the participants could have been better prepared by informing them that they may be put in “high-stress” situations which may affect them after the testing has been completed. I believe an immediate de-briefing could have been done to allow the participants to be fully aware that no individuals were harmed during the testing and have proper support on hand to help resolve any traumatic activations that may have taken place during the experiment, as well as long term access to these professionals should they have further questions or need further support. If I were the researcher this is the route I would have taken to ensure first and foremost my volunteer participants ar3e taken care of to the best of my ability.
This course has been a great expansion of my knowledge in regards to the influences that social culture has on the field of psychology. One element that stands out to me is the influence of pop culture and marketing persuasion on our culture. Although the documentary video we had watched covering this topic was quite dated, it was eye opening to see how far the reaches of pop culture had on the way we act and interact within our communities on a pretty deep level. It was also startling to see how far some of these major companies were willing to go to capture the next “big thing” in what is considered to be “cool” and exploit it. The same could be said for our discussion on the perceptions we have of beauty, and how someone’s physical appearance effects the way we interpret many other things about them (such as intelligence level, economic standing, perceived level of niceness or rudeness, ect.) and build our expectations, perceptions and opinions of others in a single instant without knowing anything else about them. I also found some great insight from our discussions on prejudice and some of the ways and reasons it arises in our communities. I was also able to recognize some of old programing from my childhood that I was not conscious of that brought me some awareness’s and final releases of unjust prejudices that had been planted by parents and grandparents’ generations. Sometime it is the subtle ones we still carry that get overlooked because they are not blatant and obvious and I am always thankful for these subtle opportunities for growth and understanding of myself and others.
RESPONSE 2 (MARIE): A class divided:
A class divided is a controversial experiment that was performed with the purpose of revealing a number of factors about human propensity for prejudice and discrimination. The main subjects in the research were elementary school children and laid focus on the concept of psychologically distressful situations. The accuracy and authenticity of the process, in this case, remain an issue of consideration in the current regime because guardians and parents of the small children involved were not involved in any way (Class Divided, 2017). In this case, the main controversy in the “Blue Eyes – Brown Eyes Experiment” is that the psychological status of small children is widely influenced by their upbringing, which is widely influenced by parents and guardians who act as the primary caregivers at their tender ages.
Professor Henry Murray Experiments:
An example of a controversial experiment conducted by Professor Henry Murray, a personality theorist, took place between 1959 and 1962. At this time, he led a series of tests with 22 participants, undergraduate men at Harvard University in the USA. The experiment was meant to measure how individuals respond to interpersonal confrontations that were stressful in nature while making use of mock interrogations.
I think the study should have been conducted. However, the choice of individuals and the method applied is quite controversial (Morris, 2015). With the need to determine which type of men would withstand brainwashing, the choice of university participants completely questions the integrity of intellectual individuals at the University level.
From the study, the knowledge gained from this study has played an essential role in future studies of psychology. However, it does not in any way justify the discomfort of the 22 participants that were brought on board for the actual process.
If the experiment’s negative impact on subjects was only temporary, we could not say that the ethical problems are diminished and, therefore, acceptable to a certain level in my opinion (“Five principles for research ethics,” 2018). While all studies and experiments might have their related problems, it is crucial to maintain the respect and integrity of the participants and the process involved.
The primary standards of ethics that I would adhere to if I were a researcher are intellectual property concerns, being conscious of multiple roles, and finally respecting confidentiality and privacy.
When it comes to the takeaways I personally feel I learned the most in the forums and the subjects that I will use the most in the future and will apply are: conformity, Aggression, Perception, and judgment
Throughout the course, I understood the role that conformity plays in life… Although it is a factor that affects one’s decision it is important to teach that it is just fine to go against the grain. If something feels wrong to not just agree or stay quiet. It is something one may work on.It will not be an easy thing to do but it can be worked on. I see myself standing against conformity in the future.
Aggression: I have realized that aggression can manifest itself in many ways. One of the takeaways is that aggression can be positive and negative. And being aggressive does not make you a bad person. In the future, I would like to teach others how to channel their aggression in a more positive avenue.
Perception and judgment: taught me to not be so quick to judge. I was quite disappointed at myself to have had those thoughts about the women form. the video. Without knowing their storiesi made up my mind about them as if it was set in stone. I will take that experience to teAch my daughter better. teach her not to be so quick to take her time amd not let society influence her judgment.
A Class Divided [Video file]. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/class-divided/
Five principles for research ethics. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/jan03/principles.aspx
Morris, N. (2015). Providing ethical guidance for collaborative research in developing countries. Research Ethics, 11(4), 211-235. doi:10.1177/1747016115586759
RESPONSE 3 (JASON): Part 1
This is our final week for this class, as we come to an end of 2018! For this week’s topic part one, we are to pick a study we were exposed to in this course and discuss it from an ethical perspective. I chose the Stanford prison experiment for my topic. This study was conducted with 24 college study volunteers to be randomly assigned being either prisoners, or prison guards to explore situational variables on human behavior. The experimenter also took part in the experiment as the prison warden. Even though this study was approved by the board and met ethical standards for 1971, it could not be conducted today as it would not meet ethical standards in place today to limit psychological harm. In my eyes, I do not think this study should have been performed as it was carried out, as it was supposed to last for 2 weeks, but had to shut down in 6 days due to how the guards were mistreating the prisoners. The experimenter himself stated that, the study should have been monitored closer and stopped sooner. Even though the participants signed informed consent, they were not informed that they would be arrested at their homes, and were not reminded throughout the experiment that they could quit at any time without penalty. The information gained from this study did provide insight into the effects of situational variables to on human behavior, was it worth the cost in human psychological harm caused by the experiment? I think it does not as it would not meet ethical standards to even be conducted today. If I were to perform this study, I would have provided clearer instruction to the students about the study, would have reminded the students throughout the study that they could exit the study at any time, and would have an objective monitor or monitors oversee the study to aid in preventing no harm to the participants. This may not have eliminated harm to participants, but could have lessened the harm.
I really enjoyed our learning material in this class, as Social Psychology was a very interesting class. It is amazing how as humans we are designed for and crave being a part of a social circle. The lengths we go to ensure that we fit into some social network are very interesting to me. It is interesting how we identify with those similar to us, and focus on their good qualities, while we focus on the negative qualities of those who are not in our tribe or group.
How we rationalize behaviors of ourselves and others is interesting as well. How engrained prejudice can be and how hard it is to overcome, and how immersion with a common goal helps to break this barrier is something I will take from this course as well.
Effective communication with expressing emotions and needs is not something new to me, but is definitely a good reminder to me to keep at the forefront of all I do, especially as I spend time with my grandchildren and help them on their journey to become well-adjusted social creatures.
I wish everyone the best in their academic journeys as well as their personal journeys into this brand new year!
Peace Joy and Blessings,
Aronson, E. (2011). The Social Animal [Kindle iOS version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
Cherry, K. (n.d.). The Stanford Prison Experiment Is Still Infamous Decades Later. Retrieved December 24, 2018, fromhttps://www.verywellmind.com/the-stanford-prison-experiment-2794995
More Information. (n.d.). Retrieved December 24, 2018, from https://www.prisonexp.org/faq/