Milgram and Hofling- Ethical Considerations

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  • Deception

- The participants actually believed they were shocking a real person and were unaware the learner was a confederate. However, Milgram argued that "illusion is used when necessary in order to set the stage for the revelation of certain difficult-to-get-at-truths."

- MIlgram also interviewed participants afterwards to find out the effect of deception. Only 1.3% wished they had not been involved.

  • Protection of participants

- Participants were exposed to extremely stressful situations that may have the potential to cause psychological harm.

- Many of the participants were visibly distressed (trembling, sweating, stuttering) However, Milgram argued that those effects were only short term and once debriefed and could see conferderate was ok, stress levels decreased.

  • Debrief

- Milgram did debrief participants fully and also followed up after a period of time to ensure


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