The experimental study that I chose to write about is the Stanford Prison Experiment, which was run by Phillip Zimbardo. More than seventy applicants answered an ad looking for volunteers to participate in a study that tested the physiological effects of prison life. The volunteers were all given interviews and personality tests. The study was left with twenty-four male college students. For the experiment, eighteen volunteers took part, with the other volunteers being on call. The volunteers were then divided into two groups, guards and prisoners, randomly assigned by coin flips. The experiment began on August 14th, 1971 in the basement of Stanford’s psychology building. To create the prison cells for the prisoners, the doors were taken
”If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” This small sentence known as the Thomas Theorem carries a lot of meaning in the context of our subjects. The idea of the Thomas Theorem states that if we perceive something to be reality, it will determine how the way we act and think in the situation (Alleydog). The Stanford Prison Experiment is seen in history as one of the most significant psychological experiments of it’s time, and the Abu Ghraib Scandal which happened 30 years later became famous for many of the same reasons. Because of the way this experiment was conducted and the way the real life prison was run, with little control and no intervention in how
The Stanford prison experiment was unique because they wanted to watch and learn the behaviors of a prisoner and a prison guard, observing the effects they found some pretty disturbing things among the students. Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues at Stanford University stayed true to what they believed, and they did what they felt they needed to do to find a set of results for their simulation. Unfortunately they where swallowed into the experiment, when they became the roles, just as the students where. So from their point of view I want to say that what they where doing was ethical, and being that the prison experiment was stopped before its half way mark showed that they realized that it was time to call it quits. Dr. Zimbardo noticed
When put into the position of complete authority over others people will show their true colors. I think that most people would like to think that they would be fair, ethical superiors. I know I would, but learning about the Stanford Prison Experiment has made me question what would really happen if I was there. Would I be the submissive prisoner, the sadistic guard, or would I stay true to myself? As Phillip Zimbardo gave the guards their whistles and billy clubs they drastically changed without even realizing it. In order to further understand the Stanford Prison experiment I learned how the experiment was conducted, thought about the ethical quality of this experiment, and why I think it panned out how it did.
Tyranny is defined: an unequal social system involving the arbitrary or oppressive use of power by one group over another (Reicher & Haslam, 2006). The link made between groups and tyranny has a long history in social psychology being prominent nearly 2,400 years ago with the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle believed that collective rule leads to moral irresponsibility, haphazardness and is a disguised form of tyranny. Research into tyranny has been carried out ever since.
“That line between good and evil is permeable,” a psychologist from Stanford University by the name of Zimbardo once said. “Any of us can move across it… I argue that we all have the capacity for love and evil — to be Mother Theresa, to be Hitler or Saddam Hussein” (qtd. In Dittmann). Social psychologist Zimbardo implies that we can easily swap from side to side. What factors elicit darkness? What draws out the darkness, making us jump from good to bad? There are many views in the society that attempt to tackle this question. For instance, social psychology and philosophy. Social psychology tends to side with situation and or authority. On the other hand, philosopher John Locke is certain that the accumulation of experiences is the cause. What is the ultimate answer?
Have you ever had so much power that the power itself controls you? In the passages The Man In The Well and The Stanford Prison Experiment they both have examples of how power corrupts people by that I mean people abuse their power and it changes them. The power makes them feel strong and like they can do anything they want and it completely changes their attitudes. In The Stanford Prison Experiment they put volunteers in realistic prison situations they had some of the volunteers be guards and some be prisoners. They wanted to see what the power would do to the volunteers and really to study how it is actually in prison.
The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) was study organized by Philip George Zimbardo who was a professor at Stanford University. Basically, SPE was a study of psychological effect. He studied about how personality and environment of a person effect his behaviour. Experiment he performed was based on prison and life of guards. He wants to find out whether personality get innovated in person according to given environment (situational) or due to their vicious personalities that is violent behaviour (dispositional). The place where the whole experiment was set up Philip Zimbardo and his team was Stanford University on August 14Th to August 20th in the year 1971 (Wikipedia).
When put into an authoritative position over others, is it possible to claim that with this new power individual(s) would be fair and ethical or could it be said that ones true colors would show? A group of researchers, headed by Stanford University psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo, designed and executed an unusual experiment that used a mock prison setting, with college students role-playing either as prisoners or guards to test the power of the social situation to determine psychological effects and behavior (1971). The experiment simulated a real life scenario of William Golding’s novel, “Lord of the Flies” showing a decay and failure of traditional rules and morals; distracting exactly how people should behave toward one another. This
Imagine waking up, reading the local Sunday newspaper, and coming across an advertisement that offered fifteen dollars a day to any male college student that was willing to participate in a study at Stanford University for three weeks (Dunning). Close to seventy broke college boys hustled their way to Stanford for an interview with the professor who was leading the experiment, Philip Zimbardo. An interview was conducted to determine whether the boys were healthy, mentally and physically. Only twenty-four of the seventy men were chosen though, only to be test subjects in a study that would look further into the psychological effects of prison life. Making the ones who weren't fit for the study, essentially lucky (Zimbardo).
In Maria Konnikova’s “The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment” she reveals what she believes to be the reality of sociologist Philip Zimbardo’s controversial study: its participants were not “regular” people.
Groupthink can be defined as a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in irrational decision-making. In 1971, twenty-four psychologically stable men took part in a trial known as The Stanford Prison Experiment. The purpose of the experiment was to prove that an individual’s perception of their own power is heavily influenced by social context and societal expectations of their role. The men involved in the experiment were assigned either the role of a prisoner or a guard to represent positions in society, both with power and without. More specifically, the conductors of The Stanford Prison Experiment focused on analyzing the different behavioral
tudied and observed and their behavior was measured with several methods. The results that the researchers found were fascinating. A breakdown of ethics and moral were almost instantaneous. The group with the power would come to abuse it and the group who had had their power taken away had become docile and submissive. The researchers concluded that the penal systems a whole was flawed in its ways of action and application of the treatment of its inmates and in the training of its guards. They also concluded that the psychology breakdown in this confined and control experiment was crucial in understanding the human psyche and how it handles certain situations.
Social psychology is an empirical science that studies how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. This field focuses on how individuals view and affect one another. Social psychology also produces the idea of construals which represent how a person perceives, comprehends or interprets the environment. Construals introduce the idea that people want to make themselves look good to others and they want to be seen as right. It is also said that the social setting in which people interact impacts behavior, which brings up the idea of behaviorism. Behaviorism is the idea that behavior is a function of the person and the environment.
This report on the Stanford Prison Experiment will define the ethical issues related to prisoner treatment and prison culture in a mock scenario created 1971. The findings of this study define the inclination towards corruption and riotous behavior within the overarching relationship between guard and the prisoners. In a short period of time,. The prisoners became hostile and sought to start a riot in order to free themselves from abuses of the prison guards. In some instances, the issue of role-playing limited to reality of the event, but the ethical issues related to issue of prison corruption became evident in the study. The Stanford Prison Experiment provided some important aspects on how good people can became violent lawbreakers within the orison system. In essence, the ethical and experimental conditions of the Stanford Prison experiment define the corrupting culture of prisons in American society during the early 1970s.