The Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

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Anthony Westcott English 252-Instructor Levine Writing Assignment 2 October 26, 2015 The Stanford Prison Experiment 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

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