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Ethics: Human Experimentation Essay

772 words - 4 pages

Ethics: Human Experimentation

Psychological research through human experimentation has unraveled profound breakthrough in understanding the human mind. Today we understand mental disorders in much greater depth than even ten years ago because of naturalistic observation, case studies and even post mortem examinations. In light of our advanced learning, it is still necessary to ask when does the quest for deeper understanding of human behavior go too far. What is ethical or unethical when carrying out experiments on living human beings?
This article examines the morality of an experiment carried out by psychologist in France. Audience members were asked to press a button to send ...view middle of the document...

I think the importance lies not only just within the duty people feel towards authority, but also the ability to act on orders that directly conflict with one’s own personal standards. Understanding how people can make a decision to do something and feel absolved from the consequences of their actions just because they were working “under orders” is important to understand. I believe that in today’s society people feel a reduced responsibility for their actions and are easily able to justify or excuse their behaviors when said behavior is unfavorable. Have we become a society of the self-involved, self-indulgent and so narcissistic that the needs and or emotions of our fellow human beings are of no real importance to us? I think this is the real question that should be asked with this experiment. How can one propose to inflict harm on innocent people and then feel they are less culpable because they were instructed to do so? One social psychologist (referred to as Berger) hinted at this sort of self-absorption when he said once participants were told of the true experiment, and told it would appear on TV participants did not care. They were only cared that they would be on TV. “It doesn’t matter what they just did, or what you filmed, yeah they love being on television”. Almost to validate my...

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