In 1971, psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues created the experiment known as the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo wanted to investigate further into human behavior, so he created this experiment that looked at the impact of taking the role of a prisoner or prison guard. These researchers examined how the participants would react when placed in an institutionalized prison environment. They set up a mock prison in the basement of Stanford University’s psychology building. Twenty four undergraduate students were selected to play the roles of both prisoners and guards. These students were chosen because they were emotional, physically, and mentally stable. Though the experiment was expected to last two weeks, it only lasted six days after the researchers and participants became aware of the harm that was being done.
The guard attempted to hide this situation from the people running the experiment because of them “being too soft on the prisoners.” Another guard, not aware he was being observed, paced around the “yard” while the prisoners slept, watching his “captives” and aggressively hitting them with his nightstick. A majority of the prisoners still involved in the experiment started to accept the loss of their identities and the abusive treatment they received, because of the belief that they “deserved it.” The guards formed a corrupt but unified team that used their power to inspire fear and complete control over the prisoners. The prisoners, in response, became mentally compromised and developed depression, feelings of helplessness, and feelings of psychosis.
The article on the Stanford Prison Experiment titled, A Study of Prisoners and Guards in a Simulated Prison and written by the Office of Naval Research, provides us with the overall information that deals with this controversial psychological study. The study was conducted by
The Stanford Prison Experiment sought to recreate a prison experience to study behaviors of prisoners and guards. The authors were seeking answers to the question of dispositional hypothesis which states “that the state of the social institution of prison is due to the “nature” of the people who administer it, or the “nature” of the people who populate it, or both” (A Study of Prisoners and Guards in a Stimulated Prison, 1971, pg. 2). In other words, they were studying whether the prisoners and guards behaviors changed due to their personalities or was it the prison environment that caused these changes. The authors considered the recidivism rate that was 75 percent at the time, conditions in prisons, and the belief that prisons
The air is saturated with the smell of concrete and fear. The wailing of men echoes through the dark, unholy halls. A new face makes its way in. Only thing harder than holding back tears, are trying to not show fear. They will feed of it, off of me. It will not break me; I will not break. This is what to expect from an evil place where grown men can be molded; broken and reformed into a weaker being or into a strong piece of iron. The Stanford Prison Experiment was a study put together by Phillip Zambardo to test the psychological effects of a prisoner and guard scenario in a mock prison setting. The experiment lasted seven to fourteen days and was comprised of twenty-four male students, who were picked at random to take part in the experiment. The role of guard and prisoner were also selected at random. The mock prisoners were subjugated to psychological abuse, harsh authoritarian rule by the guards, and intense living conditions to ensure maximum results were met. The experiment concluded early and a couple prisoners left due to an intense amount of stress brought on from the ordeal. Although the experiment was brief, it gave a great deal of insight into how environment can abruptly affect the psychological well-being of an individual. Zimbardo states, “Would those good people, put in that bad, evil place—would their goodness triumph?” (Cherry, 2006) Everyone has darkness within them and all it takes is a little push. Every person picked for this experiment was not
Dr Philip Zimbardo created the Stanford prison experiment in 1971, the aim of this experiment was to find out the psychological effects of prison life, and to what extent can moral people be seduced to act immorally. The study consisted of 24 students selected out of 75, the roles of these 24 men were randomly assigned, 12 to play prison guards and 12 to play prisoners. The prison set up was built inside the Stanford’s psychological department, doors where taken of laboratory rooms and replaced with steel bars in order to create cells. At the end of the corridor was the small opening which became the solitary confinement for the ‘bad prisoners’. Throughout the prison there were no windows or clocks to judge the passage in time, which resulted in time distorting experiences. After only a few hours, the participants adapted to their roles well beyond expectations, the officers starting
This case study will be assessing and defining the methods and effects that came out of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. This experiment was designed to shed light on the different psychosocial roles which influence the power has on ordinary people in a prisonlike setting. This psychosocial experiment concluded in several unexpended outcomes compared to the original though behind the initial planning and had to be terminated before the experiment was scheduled to end.
This experiment was put through to show how prisoners act within a prison environment while being isolated within the cell and being forbidden from contact with people outside the jail. The prisoners were arrested in their homes and taken to the police station. The normal procedures for a convicted criminal were given, and the prisoners were then transferred to the basement of the psychology department. The basement was designed to replicate an average prison. Standard rules such as forbidden prisoner to guard eye contact were given. Guards were not allowed to address the prisoners by anything besides their uniform number. Although just an experiment, the subjects were quickly adapting to their roles. Prison guards began to harass the inmates, and the inmates began to verbally abuse each other to extreme levels. Guards also started using major brutality. Due to the drastic escalation of the physical and verbal abuse, the experiment was terminated early (McLeod). This suggests that when isolated, people can start to act more cruel than they would in
On the other hand, the guards were treated differently from the inmates as they were given identical guard-style uniforms, reflective sunglasses that aimed to provide them an authoritative, secretive appearance and the freedom to live their normal lives when they were not on their 8-hour shifts. The independent variable of the “Stanford Prison” study is the roles into the participants were randomly assigned to in the mock prison environment, while the dependent variable of this study is the behavior measures, he emotional measures of mood and pathology, attitudes toward self among these prisoners and guards. The findings of this experiment were absolutely mind-blowing. The mock prison environment turned into a reality and the roles assigned to these college students became their real identities (either prisoners or guards). The guards treated the prisoners with no mercy, coming up with creative ways of breaking the prisoners’ spirit. Meanwhile, all the prisoners seemed to forget that they do have the rights to quit the study anytime they intend to, instead they submissively accepted and conformed to the rules set by the guards, including the sadistic and degrading treatments from the
The participants adapted to their roles well beyond Zimbardo 's expectations, as the guards enforced the measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture. Many of the prisoners passively accepted psychological abuse and, at the request of the guards, readily harassed other prisoners who attempted to prevent it. The experiment even
The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted by a research group led by Dr. Philip Zimbardo using Stanford students during August 14 through the 20th of 1971. Dr. Zimbardo wanted to see how people reacted when they are either put in captivity or in charge of others. The study was funded by the US Office of Naval Research and grew interest to both the US Navy and the Marine Corps for an investigation to the purpose of conflict among military guards and prisoners. In the study, 24 male students were selected out of 75 applicants to take on randomly assigned roles. One of the surprises of the study was how participants quickly adapted to roles well beyond expectations. After the first eight hours, the experiment turned to be a joke and nobody was taking it seriously but then prisoners
During the summer of 1973 an experiment of the psychology of imprisonment was conducted by psychologist Philip K. Zimbardo. Zimbardo created his own jail in the basement in the Stanford University psychology building. Every participant had to be mentally and physically fit in order to participate in this experiment. Participants were randomly split into two groups’, guards and prisoners. Participants who were selected to be prisoners were arrested, blindfolded and sent the Stanford prison. The prisoners had to strip down and put on a prisoner uniform. The guards had to have a uniform also. Their uniform was composed of silver reflective sunglasses, handcuffs, whistles, billy clubs, and keys to all the cells and main gate. Prisoners had no freedom, rights, independence and privacy. Guards had social power and the responsibility of managing the prisoner’s lives. The day of the experiment everyone fell into their roles of guards and prisoners. The next day the prisoners started to rebel which motivated the guards to take affirmative action against the prisoners and maintain law and order. By the last days of the experiment the guards became sadistically aggressive and the prisoners became and passive. To explain the behavior of the guards and prisoners of this experiment we must look at, “Obedience to Authority,” “The Roles of Guard and Prisoner,” and “Prison
While dedicated research on the subject of psychological damage as a result of imprisonment is surprisingly sparse there are a few articles that touch on the subject. Prison is a ripe case study for many Psychology scholars due to its inherently insular nature and varied subcultures. Researchers have noticed frightening trends among inmates such as increased aggression, impairment of executive functions, and increased development of psychosomatic disorders.
The Stanford Prison Experiment was designed to allow 24 participants (college students) to be arrested in a mock police state scenario without any charges being brought against them. The participants were hooded and put into a prison cellblock with other mock prisoners. The purpose of the experiment was to see how non-criminals would be affected by the prison culture and the oversight of prison guards. Philip G. Zimbardo (2004)
In 1971 Philip Zimbardo conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) in the basement of Stanford University as a mock prison. Zimbardo’s aim was to examine the effect of roles, to see what happens when you put good people in an evil place and to see how this effects tyranny. He needed participants to be either ‘prisoners’ or ‘guards’ and recruited them through an advertisement, 75 male college students responded and 24 healthy males were chosen and were randomly allocated roles. Zimbardo wanted to encourage deindividuation by giving participants different uniforms and different living conditions (the guards had luxuries and the prisoners were living as real prisoners). The guards quickly began acting authoritarian, being aggressive towards the prisoners and giving them punishments causing physical and emotional breakdowns. Zimbardo’s intention was for his study to last for 2 weeks, however, it