Research Proposal


The Truth Behind Psychological Experiment: Project Unethical



This proposal explores the horrors behind psychology’s most crucial experiments. The goal is to expose the unethical and immoral procedures behind some of the most significant and critical discoveries made in psychology. Furthermore, the proposal delves into whether or not the methods of experimentation had a major impact on science research or if it was just an unnecessary unethical study that could have been undergone a different way. These goals have been achieved by examining two specific experiments that are considered unethical. The two experiments analyzed were the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. After selecting these experiments that we deemed immoral, we analyzed the purposes of the experiments to figure out why they took place. Then, we took a deeper look at the discoveries made and explored the impact they had in the field of science. After evaluating the purposes, discoveries, and impacts, it was evident that unethical procedures were utilized. Examining the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment can hopefully bring about questions about why science experiments like these are not looked into or stopped. By exposing the procedures behind these psychological discoveries, awareness can be brought about the ethical guidelines that scientists seem to ignore.



Experimentation is a research method that undergoes a series of trial and error and must be tested. The process of experimenting allows researchers and scientists to look for correlations and cause and effect relationships. All throughout history, scientists and researchers utilized experimental studies to create theories and discoveries to further advance any knowledge about a specific science field. In the field of psychology, scientists have been initiating such experiments in order to observe and advance individual behaviors and outcomes. To test such actions, test subjects have undergone extreme and corrupt tests that have left some traumatized and damaged both mentally and physically. Scientists, in order to test their psychological hypothesis, used this scientific research on humans and animals, no matter how unethical. When conducting scientific research, scientists believe that there are no boundaries on how far one can torture their test subjects for the advancement of science, however, many experiments have gone too far exceeding ethic codes and the social dogma.


Research Questions:

What is considered ethical when it comes to science? Should science research consist of damaging an individual’s mental and physical health? Are the unethical experiments that took place during psychology research worth the discoveries that were found? What were the pros and cons of these experiments? Are unethical experiments contributing to the advance of science, or are they hurting the test subjects?



When conducting science research, scientists believe that there are no boundaries on how far one can torture their test subjects for the advancement of science, however, many experiments have gone too far exceeding ethic codes and the social dogma.


Research methodology:

In order to raise a critical thinking thesis and conduct complete thorough analytical research, the research methodology that will be undergone is database researches, video components, online research studies, and first hand accounts. The database research and online studies will serve as our way of discovering the different experiments that have taken place and their purposes. With this information, we can observe videos of the actual experiments, and see the patients’ and scientists’ actions and reactions during the tests. Furthermore, the first hand accounts serve as a way of understanding the traumatic experiences of those who were taken advantage of and to further the claim that the experiments were unethical. The first hand accounts, which are shown in recorded interview form and short articles, will also show us how the individuals have been affected by the experiment either mentally or physically


Audience: Psychology Students


Purpose: To inform students about (some) the unethical experiments that have been done such as The Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment and to find/provide methods that could have/had worked that are ethical.



  • “20 Most Unethical Experiments in Psychology.” Online Psychology Degree Guide, – We used this source to find unethical experiments that took place throughout history. Each experiment within this source provides a brief summary of the experiments we are discussing and how the patients were left after these famous experiments.
  • Mcleod, Saul. “The Milgram Experiment.” Milgram Experiment | Simply Psychology, Simply Psychology, 5 Feb. 2017 –  Using this source we found the steps of the experiment, which gave us the procedure that they used and the results that they recorded during the actual experiment. Milgrams’ experiment was not only unethical but it set an experimental standard in which people had to follow. From a small unharmful shock to a dangerous severe shock this experiment people tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or legally based.
  • Milgram, Stanley, director. Obedience. 1965. – The documentary by Stanley Milgram shows the famous experiment (The Milgram Experiment)  that took place in 1963. The fim provides us with a first hand observation of the unethical methods that took place and Milgram’s perspective. We can conclude from the film that science can be taken to far and that some experiments are extremely unethical.
  • McLeod, Saul A. Zimbardo – Stanford prison experiment (2018, Sept 16). – This source provides a step by step breakdown of the Stanford prison experiment. The purpose of the experiment is provided alongside the procedure, outcomes, and ethical issues. This citation will give us a full understanding of the experiment and allow us to uncover the purpose of our research.
  • Brain Bank North West. “Pushing Scientific Boundaries: How Far Is Too Far?” The Brain Bank North West, 25 Feb. 2013 – This source is important to our proposal because it provides us with a way of thinking for when we are judging the experiments that we are researching. Within the article, there is numerous points and examples that show when scientific boundaries are exceeded and what may seem like bizarre but excepted.
  • “Experimental Psychology Studies Humans and Animals.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association.- This source is used to improve our understanding of Experimental studies from the opposite side. In the article, it is stated the interest of experimental psychologists on the individual’s behavior. Also, how experiments are applied, and the importance of them, and how it can help the development of science.
  • Tayag, Yasmin. “Six Immoral Studies That Led To Breakthroughs.”, 13 July 2015- within this source, we are given a brief explanation of some immoral studies that impacted the science field greatly. Though it’s mentioned that these experiments were immoral, the breakthroughs that impact today’s medical field and way of thinking is provided showing the bright side of the experiments. The Milgram experiment is mentioned in the article along with similar test, The Stanford Prison experiment.

About the author: Cielo Jimenez

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