Testing The Limits Of Ethics

Decent Essays

Testing the Limits of Ethics:

A Reflection Paper on The Lucifer Effect

Kerron Anderson


Summary of the study
Zimbardo makes a comment that perfectly describes the methodology of his experiment; explaining how studies have been done of actual prison life by sociologists and criminologists, but that such studies contain major limitations to what parts of prison life can be observed. “They can see only what they are allowed to see on guided tours that rarely get beneath the surface of prison life. We’d like to better understand the deeper structure of the prisoner/guard relationship by re-creating the psychological environment of a prison, and then to be in a position to observe, record, and document the entire …show more content…

It was also interesting that the varying attitudes of the students during their arrest had little to no overall effect on their behaviours once fully submerged in the experiment environment.
Carlos I was not expecting at all, but his outburst changed prisoner 8612’s perspective on his situation. Making him realize that although this was bad, in real life, jail is much, much worse. This outburst appeared to defer the prisoner’s meltdown, making it more aggressive than it would have been if only Zimbardo had spoken with him at the time of Carlos’ enraged comments describing the reality of a prison. The interaction seemed to convinced him that he couldn’t leave. He took, you can’t take this simulation, as you aren’t getting out of this situation. Perhaps his interpretation of that interaction had to do with the fact that he did not meet with Zimbardo again that day to discuss whether or not he was leaving the study. Also at the timing of his later outburst, 8612 was being defiant and was in a high pressure situation. His stress response was very high and he remembered from the interaction with Zimbardo not that he was supposed to think over whether he wanted to continue in the study, but the fact that Carlos had made a comparison to actual prison where you don’t get to just say I can’t take it anymore and walk out. Carlos was a factor that I don’t think

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