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Social Roles In The Stanford Experiment

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The stanford experiment was a study of how social roles can influence our behavior. It was a simulation that was held at Stanford University, California in 1971. Individuals were randomly chosen to play the role of a “prisoner” or a “guard”. Philip Zimbardo’s theory was to know if having a social role can influence our behavior. Once he began the experiment he proved that that people do change their behavior when assigned to a social role, his experiment was a success to all those who opposed.
Philip Zimbardo's experiment on prison life demonstrated how quickly an individual can dissolve their own identity to fit into the social roles expected of them (UK Essays). Those assigned to play the role of guard were given sticks and sunglasses; those assigned to play the prisoner role were arrested by the Palo Alto police department, deloused, forced to wear chains and prison garments, and transported to the basement of the Stanford psychology department, which had been converted into a makeshift jail. Several of the guards became progressively more sadistic, particularly at night when they thought the cameras were off, despite being picked by chance out of the same pool as the prisoner (“Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment”) Psychologist World. The prisoners were humiliated and embarrassed by the guards. The guards were cruel and even made the prisoners do menial tasks. They made the prisoners clean the toilet bowls with their bare hands rather than providing
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