Milgram’s which would have messed up the results of

Milgram’s 1963 study was another ethically
questionable study which involved 40 male participants who were assigned to a ‘teacher’
role, and a confederate who was assigned to a ‘learner’ role. The ‘teacher’ was
required to read out some word pairs and if the ‘learner’ got any wrong when
reciting them, a shock had to be administered by the ‘teacher’. The
participants had been told that they were going to participate in research on
memory and learning, and therefore consented to take part based on this
knowledge, so fully informed consent was not gained by Milgram as the
participants did not know the true nature of the study (that it was actually a
study into obedience). However, arguably informed consent was gained after the
participants were debriefed. The participants were necessarily deceived in
Milgram’s defence, because if the participants knew the aim of the study before
or during, there would have been demand characteristics which would have messed
up the results of the study. Participants’ right to withdraw was arguably
breached due to prods that the ‘experimenter’ gave, including “please continue”,
which could have caused participants to carry on even though they didn’t really
wish to do so. Also, many participants showed distress, for example three
participants had uncontrollable seizures.