When considering ethical recommendations, the study by Milgram was unethical. In ethics, the research study lacked the moral aspect. This is because it was causing pain to some of the participants in the study though they were innocent. The teacher would apply shock pains to the learner for wrong answers given by the learner. In ethics, utilitarianism recommends a person to pursue a moral duty that results in the greatest satisfaction (Mizzoni, 2009; Bredeson, 2011). When considering Milgram’s study, the teacher inflicted shock pains to the learner due to lack of an alternative, but not because the teacher was deriving any pleasure from inflicting pain. When considering the virtue ethics perspective, the lab experiment lacks morals (Mizzoni, 2009; Bredeson, 2011). The experiment may be regarded as immoral since it inflicts pain on an innocent person for giving wrong answers to questions. The morals and consequences of activity to other people help to determine if the activity is ethical (Mizzoni, 2009). When an activity lacks morals and consequences are dire to another person, such activity is unethical. Although the activity may bring pleasure to the doer, but have negative consequences to other people, the activity remains unethical (Mizzoni, 2009; Bredeson, 2011).
The study by Milgram has relations to the act of using human beings in marketing research. Although many business experiments have positive influences to the participants, some experiments have dire consequences to the participants. There are cases where people were injected with vaccines during experiments and were infected with the vaccine such as during the search for HIV/AIDs vaccine. Moreover, there are cases where new products in the market resulted in sickness and death of participants after consuming the product in research. These experiments are inhuman and unethical due to the negative consequences (Bredeson, 2011; Mizzoni, 2009). Some of the manufacturers of war arms experiment the performance of the arms on human beings. For instance, there are claims that the atomic bomb used in World War II was part of an experiment on the impacts of atomic bombs in wars. Therefore, researchers should seek other alternatives that are humane and ethical when doing research.
Bredeson, D. (2011). Applied Business Ethics: A Skills-Based Approach. New York: Cengage Learning.
Mizzoni, J. (2009). Ethics: The Basics. New York: John Wiley & Sons.