Sample Sociology Essay Paper on Race and U.S. Medical Experimentation: The Case of Tuskegee

Research and Experiment

Question One

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures is one of the most famous global social psychology experiments that was mainly conducted by Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist at Yale University. In his experiment, Milgram was trying to justify that the Germans who took part in the Nazi killings during the Second World War were indeed obedient to the authority as many had offered the explanation for their acts of genocide during their trial (Fenigstein 582). Forty male participants were selected for the experiment through newspaper and direct mail advertisement. The procedure of the experiment was to take people in pair into an adjacent room; the participant (teacher), and the learner. The teacher had a full view of the learner’s arms strapped with electrodes.

 The experiment involved the apprentice learning a pair of words given to him, and the teacher would test the learner by asking him to recall the pair of words. As such, in response to the teacher’s question, the learner was expected to press a button. Each time the learner made a mistake, the teacher was required to obey the researcher’s orders by administering electric shock to the learner. The electric shock was set to increase with 15 volts each time the learner responded to a question incorrectly. The exercise revealed that most people tend to obey orders given by an authority figure irrespective of the outcomes or consequences. Obedience is developed within oneself, and we usually tend to obey orders from the authority because we tend to believe that they are morally right, and acting according to the legal laws.

 Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment is an unethical clinical study that began in 1932. The U.S public health service worked with the Tuskegee Institute with an objective of determining the natural history of syphilis in African Americans who lived in Tuskegee, Alabama. Moreover, 400 men were selected for the experiment, and promised free treatment programs at the end of the study. The subjects who were enrolled in the clinical study were injected with the virus that causes syphilis, and they were matched with other 200 subjects who acted as the control group. It is believed that the subjects were recruited into the clinical study with the promise of special free treatment to be administered after the experiment. However, the experiment had various negative effects on the subjects and other people. It adversely affected the society’s health as many were exposed to the communicable disease that had remained untreated (Howell). Moreover, the experiment led to the subjects suffering immensely as a result of the untreated, advanced syphilis.

Question Two

A sample is defined as a smaller set that is chosen or selected from a given population and presented for research. On the other hand, validity is defined as the extent to which research is intended to measure or measures (Mohajan 71). While reliability refers to the degree to which a given scale produces consistent results whenever measurements are repeated over time, correlation is the mutual relationship or connection between two or more things within a given study (Mohajan 67). Nonetheless, even if two variables show a correlation with each other, it does not necessarily mean that one variable causes the other because causation examines if the occurrence of an event is dependent on the occurrence of another.

Works Cited

Fenigstein, Allan. “Milgram’s Shock Experiments and the Nazi Perpetrators: A Contrarian Perspective on the Role of Obedience Pressures during the Holocaust.” Theory & Psychology 25.5 (2015): 581-598.,

Howell, Joel. “Race and U.S. Medical Experimentation: The Case of Tuskegee.” Cadernos de Saude Publica 33 (2017): e00168016.,

Mohajan, Haradhan Kumar. “Two Criteria for Good Measurements in Research: Validity and Reliability.” Annals of Spiru Haret University. Economic Series 17.4 (2017): 59-82.,;Two