A Level Psychology students play judge and jury.
In the first of what promises to be many invigorating debates, our Year 12s recreated a courtroom drama to help them dissect the psychology behind Stanley Milgram.
In 1963, the Yale University-educated psychologist conducted a series of social experiments based on obedience to authority figures and personal conscience. He tricked participants into thinking they were giving electric shocks to a partner. How much pain was an ordinary citizen prepared to inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to do so?
Under the watchful eye of the judge (Mr Smith) the students put Milgram on trial for his experimental procedures, each giving evidence to condone or condemn his behaviour. Based on current-day ethics, should this sort of action be allowed, argued the case for the prosecution? But sometimes it’s important to perform these kind of experiments for the greater good, retaliated the defendants.
By re-enacting a court case like this, making a point, giving clear evidence for this point and being able to expand and develop it, students gained a greater understanding of how to structure and present both sides of an argument – skills that will serve them well over their A Level years and beyond.