My Analysis of the Stanford Prison Experiment

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The psychology wing at Stanford University has a stigma attached to it, of which every psychologist has learned at some point in their career. We all see prisons as an everyday thing: people do bad things, they get thrown in, they stay there for a length of time. However, in 1971, there were some at Stanford who believed there was something deeper to be studied there, so they took on the experiment that would unexpectedly propel their psychology program to infamy and change the lives of those who participated forever.
Experimenting with a prison first requires a prison. With the input and consultation of ex-prisoner Carl Prescott, Stanford was able to turn the basement of Stanford’s psychology building was converted into a functional
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We all see prisons as an everyday thing: people do bad things, they get thrown in, they stay there for a length of time. However, in 1971, there were some at Stanford who believed there was something deeper to be studied there, so they took on the experiment that would unexpectedly propel their psychology program to infamy and change the lives of those who participated forever.
Experimenting with a prison first requires a prison. With the input and consultation of ex-prisoner Carl Prescott, Stanford was able to turn the basement of Stanford’s psychology building was converted into a functional prison. Classrooms and offices became prison cells with lonely, hard beds. They were fortified so no one could escape once locked in. The walls were made bare and bleak, as if to wash away any hope that a person kept there might have. Closets were even cleared out to be solitary confinement chambers for the “prisoners” who misbehaved. The next stage was to fill these cells with prisoners. A survey was given out to all students who were interested in participating in the study. Anyone selected for the experiment had to be both mentally and physically healthy. This condition would help the operators behind the prison experiment determine what the change was in the actors if there was one. Students played not only the roles of prisoners…