Author Topic: Torture Game Show  (Read 5711 times)

Cramulus

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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2010, 07:12:46 pm »
This guy Burger replicated Milgram's work in the present day, and tried a few interesting variations.

In one variation, he informed the participants up front that they wouldn't actually be hurting anybody, and that they could stop at any time. Even then, the compliance rates matched Milgram's 1961 run.

In another variation, the participants witnessed somebody else refusing to obey the doctor and walking out of the experiment. Burger hoped that by setting defiance as part of a norm, the participants might have a higher will to defy authority themselves. Except they didn't. They also complied at the same rate that milgram reported in '61.

Here's a really fucked up variation, but it does disprove C:

Quote
Charles Sheridan and Richard King hypothesized that some of Milgram's subjects may have suspected that the victim was faking, so they repeated the experiment with a real victim: a puppy who was given real electric shocks. They found that 20 out of the 26 participants complied to the end. The six that had refused to comply were all male (54% of males were obedient[26]); all 13 of the women obeyed to the end, although many were highly disturbed and some openly wept

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2010, 07:24:03 pm »
I'm a bit confused as to what about Milgram's experiment was considered unethical. Nobody was actually being shocked. Was it the trauma to the people doing the shocking?

It seems like having the studio audience might bring in a different factor. Milgram's experiment only had a guy in a position of authority. The studio audience thing reminds me of that line experiment.

IIRC it was the psychological trauma being done to the actual subjects... some of them were really freaked out and disturbed when delivering horrible levels of shock to 'victims'... I think some of the follow ups discussed nightmares etc. almost as thought the subjects were tortured... by making them torture.

In fact, one of the disputes over the experiment was the conclusion... Why did people do this? He argued it was blind obedience. Others have argued that it was trust... they trusted the "Doctor" when he said that it wouldn't cause damage etc. or that they felt coerced/forced into the behavior.

I think generally, the experiment is repeatable (and has been tested multiple times), but the conclusions are still murky.

I'd say they're fairly clear.  Uncomfortably revealing, but clear.

The exact mechanisms in play in those situations bears further analysis, but then you run into the "ethics" problem.

I think the argument goes:

Person A - Obviously people will follow direction without thinking.

Person B - Err, no... those people simply trusted the Expert when he said that the shock wouldn't hurt the person.

Person C - No, deep down they knew at some level that the 'victim'  was an actor.

etc.

One of the recreations used an animal rather than a human to get around theory C, there was some evidence to support theories A and B though.

Particularly, in one test there was a person who was knowledgeable on the issue of electric shock and basically told the Doctor that he was wrong and did not finish the test.

IF A was truly correct, this guy should have, in theory, completed the test because Authority told him to... He stoppped, (so goes the counterclaim) because he KNEW that the 'Expert' was wrong. So acting with knowledge, he didn't simply trust the expert.

So that's two very different claims. After all, in the experiment the subject was told that there would be no harm to the victim, if they believed that, then it goes to humans being creatures that want to trust Authority, but not necessarily willing to blindly follow orders.

The Nazis on the other hand, were likely aware that shooting someone in the head or gassing them would, in fact, "harm" them. So there's a bit of a hole there.... at least in some of the criticisms of the test.



My own udnerstanding of experiemntal design would invalidate the results from situation C you mentioned.  Since it's a very emotionally charged issue, you can't rely on self - report once the exact nature of the test has been revealled.  Some people will lie so hard they fool themselves with excuses such as "I KNEW it was a fake / actor / test".  Same pitfalls as asking people about their sexuality, deviant behavior, etc.  Some folks will, just not self report because of stigma, fear, or shame.
   
Before the unveiling, a post - survey asking them (among other questions) about the professionalism, trustworthyness, or otherwise validity of the Doctor as an "Authority" might shed more light there.

Also, run testing with a variety of "Authority" vs.  "Non - authorities", "Harmful (fatal)" vs. "Non - Harmful (non-fatal)"?

It wasn't the test subjects that made the claim that they 'knew', it was later critics who claimed that it was likely that on some level they KNEW... I think the argument was something like "Obviously, no one is gonna get hurt in an experiment... its not anything like the real world".

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Richter

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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2010, 08:15:43 pm »
I follow now!  Bit more beleivable if they self - report before questioned or revealed to. 

I can see a problem with the procedure being TOO well known though.  If they think "OH!, it's the XYZ style experiment.", results are invalid, sicne they knew what they were being tested on.  (I got a job offer from a program for teen with autism by calling them on the obvious indistinct or projective questions in their employee questionaire.) 
Acting failure would be a bit harder to detect.
 
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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2010, 04:44:00 pm »
Yeah, it was the guilt of those who were asked to do the "torture" that was the issue.

Also, anyone really interested in this should subject read Zimbardo's The Lucifer Principle.  Lots has been talked about Zimbardo's prison experiment, but I believe this is the only book where he himself gives a full account of what happened, including his own rationalizations for continuing the experiments (rationalizations that, when challenged, revealed the full extent of what was actually going on, which shocked and deeply disturbed him).
Beat me to it.   They ended it early iirc, because the "authorities", the guards, were getting way out of hand, some of the prisoners were on the verge of suicidal, as well as all the guilt stuff.  Very revealing experiment on the inherent nastiness of some human social structures.

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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2010, 04:52:44 pm »
Quote from: Regret on Today at 03:12:46 AM
I'd watch it.

I don't know if you can get the video on this but here's the Sky report
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Strange-News/French-TV-Experiment-Which-Encouraged-Players-To-Torture-Another-Contestant-Condemned-In-France/Article/201003315575334?lpos=Strange_News_Carousel_Region_4&lid=ARTICLE_15575334_French_TV_Experiment_Which_Encouraged_Players_To_Torture_Another_Contestant_Condemned_In_France

I was going to scaryurl the link actually but I think that is quite scary enough . . .

When I studied Milgram in college we always assumed that no reputable college ethics committee would ever let the Milgram programme be replicated and a lot of the power of Milgram, beyond the whole banality of evil thing, lies in this "uniqueness". So I'm quite intrigued that the 15 "psychologists" behind this "experiment" are not claiming any institutional affiliation. Maybe TV is the new educational institution which will take this kind of "research" forward. Onward to "The Running Man" we jolly well go . . .



PS I found this link to a recent Meta-analysis of DISobedience in the original Milgram test sets yesterday -
http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/spa/news2/Packer_Perspectives.pdf


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Jasper

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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2010, 11:10:23 pm »
Here's a really fucked up variation, but it does disprove C:

Quote
Charles Sheridan and Richard King hypothesized that some of Milgram's subjects may have suspected that the victim was faking, so they repeated the experiment with a real victim: a puppy who was given real electric shocks. They found that 20 out of the 26 participants complied to the end. The six that had refused to comply were all male (54% of males were obedient[26]); all 13 of the women obeyed to the end, although many were highly disturbed and some openly wept

Wow, that's really not good. :(

Placid Dingo

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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2010, 09:25:25 am »
Also: http://www.japanfortheuninvited.com/articles/nasubi.html

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For more than a year, a young comedian called Nasubi (meaning “eggplant”) was the unwitting star of one of Japan’s most infamous TV shows. For 24 hours a day, Nasubi was naked and alone in a small room. His only relief from hunger, discomfort and boredom came from prizes he won in the competitions he spent all day entering. He wouldn’t be released until he had won one million yen (about $10,000 or £5,000) in prizes.
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Re: Torture Game Show
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2010, 10:32:44 pm »
Particularly, in one test there was a person who was knowledgeable on the issue of electric shock and basically told the Doctor that he was wrong and did not finish the test.

IF A was truly correct, this guy should have, in theory, completed the test because Authority told him to... He stoppped, (so goes the counterclaim) because he KNEW that the 'Expert' was wrong. So acting with knowledge, he didn't simply trust the expert.

Not everybody is fucked up enough to actually do it.  In the original experiment 35% refused to continue.  So its interesting, but not remarkable.  Also, I looked this up, it wasn't because he thought it was dangerous, it was because he knew just how much they hurt, as he'd had several (accidentally) himself, something the actor (or the non acting puppy) were doing their best to convey.  It does suggest that previous experience with the type of pain is a confounding factor.  You see this with non authority situations as well (IE, pro waterboarding pundits changing their mind after being waterboarded).

Also, the Milgram experiment was noted when we covered psych ethics as being described as unethical, but in reality could still get past an ethics review board today.
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