One experiment that always stands out in my mind in terms of ethics is Milgram’s experience on obedience and authority. Perhaps this draw comes from the almost militant quality this experiment has in the regards to how far the human psyche can be pushed in response to authoritative prompting. Another fascination I have in regards to this experiment is that Milgram sought out to test how far someone could be pushed past their own personal coconscious beliefs when prompted by an authority figure in an effort to bring some insight to the German soldiers who stated they were just following orders during the horrific events that took place during WWII. In doing so he pushed volunteers from differing backgrounds and professions to administer increasing levels of shock to another human being (or so they thought) as directed by an experiment authority figure. While no individual was actually shocked during this experiment, there was psychological harm done to those who were being directed to administer the shock. Many of these individuals had saw some of their darker potentials to inflict harm on another human being (something that they did not think they were capable of prior to this experiment) and suffered short- and long-term psychological distress as a result. While I do believe there is undeniable insight gained from this experiment and the potential we all have in respect to how far we may go when we believe or trust the person of authority above us, I can see that it came with a cost. Looking back, I think that perhaps the participants could have been better prepared by informing them that they may be put in “high-stress” situations which may affect them after the testing has been completed. I believe an immediate de-briefing could have been done to allow the participants to be fully aware that no individuals were harmed during the testing and have proper support on hand to help resolve any traumatic activations that may have taken place during the experiment, as well as long term access to these professionals should they have further questions or need further support. If I were the researcher this is the route I would have taken to ensure first and foremost my volunteer participants ar3e taken care of to the best of my ability.

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Part 2
This course has been a great expansion of my knowledge in regards to the influences that social culture has on the field of psychology. One element that stands out to me is the influence of pop culture and marketing persuasion on our culture. Although the documentary video we had watched covering this topic was quite dated, it was eye opening to see how far the reaches of pop culture had on the way we act and interact within our communities on a pretty deep level. It was also startling to see how far some of these major companies were willing to go to capture the next “big thing” in what is considered to be “cool” and exploit it. The same could be said for our discussion on the perceptions we have of beauty, and how someone’s physical appearance effects the way we interpret many other things about them (such as intelligence level, economic standing, perceived level of niceness or rudeness, ect.) and build our expectations, perceptions and opinions of others in a single instant without knowing anything else about them. I also found some great insight from our discussions on prejudice and some of the ways and reasons it arises in our communities. I was also able to recognize some of old programing from my childhood that I was not conscious of that brought me some awareness’s and final releases of unjust prejudices that had been planted by parents and grandparents’ generations. Sometime it is the subtle ones we still carry that get overlooked because they are not blatant and obvious and I am always thankful for these subtle opportunities for growth and understanding of myself and others.

RESPONSE 2 (MARIE): A class divided:


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