In 1904, Ivan Pavlov received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his renowned experiment demonstrating classical conditioning using dogs. The ‘Pavlov’s Dog’ experiment involved drilling holes in the sides of the animals mouths to extract saliva to measure as well as, administering electronic shocks timed on a metronome. After the success of Pavlov’s dog experiment, his interest diverted to modifying human behavior. Pavlov performed the conditioning experiments on children. The animals and children suffered similar mental and physical torture of restraints and surgical procedures. According to today’s obligation and commitment of psychologists in the American Psychological Association’s Code of Ethics (APA) (2016), several ethical codes were violated. Two of the codes were General Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence and Section V. Research: Experimental Procedures. Principle A: states, “psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm” (p. 3, para. 1). In addition, it reads “psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons, and the welfare of animal subjects of research” (p. 2., para. 3). Section V. in Research states, “….consideration for the humane treatment and well-being of the laboratory animal” (p. 7, para 1). Pavlov violated the psychologist’s oath to do ‘no harm’ to humans or animals.
American Psychological Association (2016). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/
American Psychological Association (n.d.). Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/leadership/care/guidelines.aspx
Into the mind: Mind control Video file. (2010). In Films on Demand. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967;xtud=43512