PSYB01 Psychological Research Lab - Lecture 3.docx
University of Toronto Scarborough
PSYB01 Psychological Research Lab
Lecture 3 Research Methods – Ethics (Con’t)
Case Study: Video - Milgram Experiment (Testing of obedience to authority)
-2 Participants, one act as educator and one act as student.
->The educator will give electric shocks to the participant acting as student when he or she answers
the question wrong (although the student isn’t actually being shocked)
->When the participant acting as educator refuse to continue the experiment, the experimenter
would force he or she to continue (Testing obedience)
- If he or she continues, that means the participant is obedient to the authority without caring if
the thing he or she is doing is wrong or not
- If he or she discontinues, that means the participant is willing to disobey something that is
wrong, such as inflicting electrical shock to another person is a torture to that person
-Clear that experiment an important one: provides insight into the dynamics of obedience.
->Yet—is it ethical??
->How do we determine this?
-Obedience in the experiment (Does participants has to obey what the experimenter told them to do?
Or can participants decide to leave anytime when they feel uncomfortable during experiment?)
->E.g., Milgram Experiment on the test of obedience
-Few participants refused to continue the experiment when he or she felt uncomfortable but the
majority continued to do so as the experimenter told them to do so.
->Why does that happen?
-Feel obligated during experiment
-Diminish of power
-Not respecting the experimenter
-Just following orders
Principle of Beneficence: ->Need to do no harm
->Need to maximize potential benefits and minimize risk of potential harmful effects
-Risks: psychological & physical harm; loss of confidentiality
-Benefits: increase education; acquire skill; receive treatment for illness
>Satisfaction of participating
>Beneficial application of results
->Corporate or political influence that wants a certain results from the researches that benefits them
(slippery slope in research)
->Vulnerability of participants (Wellbeing of the participants that researchers must be mindful of)
-E.g., Prison experiment -> cause of Psychological harm
New drug development -> cause of Physical harm
Stigma, ostracism -> cause of Social harm
Bribery, request for money -> cause of Economic harm
->Purpose of study
->Risks and benefits of participation
->Right to refuse or stop participating
>Participants fully understand what the study is about, the risk and benefits
-May be challenged by
->Lack of autonomy (Diminish of power. Can the individual make a free and informed decision?)
->Coercion (Reward of money)
*Do you think informed consent would have affected the outcome of the Milgram study?
->Would behaviour alter?