The Ethical Principles Administered By The British Psychological Society 's Code Of Ethics And Conduct

841 Words Nov 18th, 2014 4 Pages
This essay will examine two psychological research studies which were carried out in the past with particular focus on the ethical principles of each study with relation to the ethical principles administered by the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics and conduct. These studies will be briefly outlined before an analysis of each is made with regards to some practices which would not be considered ethical today.

The first study was conducted by Milgram (1963) in order to explain why so many people blindly followed orders within Nazi Germany within the World War II period. To accomplish this, Milgram recruited 40 students for an apparent study into memory. These students were labelled “teachers” and their role was to ask another participant questions and to provide an electric shock for every incorrect answer. The participants labelled “learners” were, however, actors. The real participants could not see the actors but could only hear them. Milgram told the participants that every incorrect answer should provoke a shock and the voltage to be increased to the next level. Milgram found that 26 of the 40 students continued to shock the “learners” to 400 volts, which was simply labelled “XXX”. Some of these students believed they had killed the learner.

In his study, Milgram displayed several breaches of today’s ethical guidelines as set out by the British Psychological Society. One such breach was deceit used to gain participation in the study which removed all…

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