The Stanford prison experiment was conducted at Stanford University on August 14th through August 20th in 1971, by a team of researchers headed by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. This experiment used college students and was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were both very interested in this particular experiment due to the many violent outbreaks and conflicts between military guards and prisoners. In 2010 Hollywood produced a movie on the events of the Stanford prison experiment. The movie was all about a study on how people would behave in a simulated setting of a prison. It starts off with an advertisement in the newspaper looking for subjects to be a part of an experiment, where participants assume the identities of inmates and prison guards in an empty jail, the subjects are promised a payment of $1,000-a-day for two weeks. After several interviews were conducted measuring the test subject’s responses to a number of different violent scenes, twenty-six subjects are finally chosen and are split into two categories: six of them as guards and twenty of them as prisoners. All of these men are considered to be the most psychologically stable and healthy of all of the applicants. The groups were deliberately selected to exclude those with criminal backgrounds, psychological impairments, or medical problems. They then are driven to an isolated building set up as a prison. The research conductor outlined basic rules of the
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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.
Less than two days into the experiment, one of the prisoners began to experience rage, emotional disturbance, uncontrollable crying, began acting crazy, and screaming. The experiment leaders realized he was really suffering and they had to release him. The next day was visiting day for the parents and friends of the prisoners. In order to stop parents from taking their children home, the experimenters cleaned the prison and the prisoners to make them seem pleasant. After the parents visited, there were rumors going around that the prisoners were going to attempt to escape. After the rumor was proved to be untrue, guards acted harshly towards the prisoners and added punishments. A priest who visited the prison, talked with prisoners and offered to contact some of their families for legal help. By day five, there were three types of guards; tough but fair guards, good guards, and hostile guards.
“That line between good and evil is permeable,” a psychologist from Stanford University by the name of Zimbardo once said. “Any of us can move across it… I argue that we all have the capacity for love and evil — to be Mother Theresa, to be Hitler or Saddam Hussein” (qtd. In Dittmann). Social psychologist Zimbardo implies that we can easily swap from side to side. What factors elicit darkness? What draws out the darkness, making us jump from good to bad? There are many views in the society that attempt to tackle this question. For instance, social psychology and philosophy. Social psychology tends to side with situation and or authority. On the other hand, philosopher John Locke is certain that the accumulation of experiences is the cause. What is the ultimate answer?
1971, the year 18 lives were changed, some for the worst, some for the better. Philip Zimbardo, the man behind the Stanford Prison experiment, the man who created an experiment that opened eyes everywhere. It has been almost five decades since this experiment was conducted. Zimbardo explained in many interviews that he wishes to have done things differently, and stop the experiment much earlier than he did already. “The purpose of this experiment was to understand the development of norms and the effects of roles, labels, and social expectations in a simulated prison environment." Zimbardo had a purpose for this experiment and I think in the end he got the results he needed (although not healthy) Along with many new articles written about the experiment, Producer Brent Emery assigned Tim Talbott to write the script for the film that was released in 2015. The movie allows an inside look into the experiment with a wider perspective.
The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) was study organized by Philip George Zimbardo who was a professor at Stanford University. Basically, SPE was a study of psychological effect. He studied about how personality and environment of a person effect his behaviour. Experiment he performed was based on prison and life of guards. He wants to find out whether personality get innovated in person according to given environment (situational) or due to their vicious personalities that is violent behaviour (dispositional). The place where the whole experiment was set up Philip Zimbardo and his team was Stanford University on August 14Th to August 20th in the year 1971 (Wikipedia).
Some other preconditions were to make the experimental setting bear a resemblance as closely to a functional simulation of the psychology of imprisonment as humanly possible. He also wanted to make sure that there was the absence of any earlier indoctrination in how to play the randomly assigned roles; to leave that up to each participant’s prior societal teachings of the meaning of prisons and the behavioral scripts associated with the oppositional roles (Zambardo, 2005). Although he had a significantly large abundance
In Maria Konnikova’s “The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment” she reveals what she believes to be the reality of sociologist Philip Zimbardo’s controversial study: its participants were not “regular” people.
The year was 1971 and no one was ready for the results that the study, known as the Stanford Prison Experiment would conduct (Whitbourne). A test subject’s fate was determined by the flip of a coin, twelve prison guards and twelve prisoners (Zimbardo). Now that Zimbardo knew he had test subjects, he assembled a team to begin construction of the “Stanford County Jail.” With the help of a former imprisoned convict, the prison was built to be as realistic as possible. Zimbardo said, “The Prison was constructed by boarding up each end of a corridor in the basement of Stanford’s psychology department building (Zimbardo). That corridor was the ‘yard’ and was the only outside place where prisoners would
Philip Zimbardo ended the experiment on the grounds that the behavior of the guards was escalating to a point where it was ethically wrong to treat a person this way, as well as the way the guards broke so many of the initial rules (Zimbardo). The guards misused their power by using it to humiliate and abuse the prisoners. Because of the way this experiment was cut short, data was limited, but this does not mean that what was collected is not useful or helpful. The audio, video, and rating scales of the individuals’ moods were all collected and compiled as the experiment progressed. The data recorded showed that guards and prisoners adjusted easily to their given roles, treating the situation very seriously and realistically. One of the men, Dave Eshelman, who was placed as a guard was interviewed about his time in the prison. In this quote he talks about taking up the role of a guard, and how it affected his mind and the experiment personally:
In the article Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: A Lesson in the Power of Situation Professor Philip Zimbardo claims that “the situation and the system creating it also must share in the responsibility for illegal and immoral behavior” when deciding an individual’s criminal accountability. Because the power of a situation has an enormous influencing effect on not only the subject, but the people around the situation and that dynamics in military detainment operations carry immediate risks of mistreatment and power abuse. Good people can do very bad things when in a bad situation. Zimbardo starts off his article for the Chronicle of Higher Education with several different social experiments that have been done. After explaining these studies he recalls his own experiment, the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo shares these studies as a cautionary tale and for the audience to reflect on our justice system in regards to imprisonment. Due to Zimbardo’s various appeals to pathos and logos and the methods he used, the argument that he makes about the justice system is effective and relevant.
If I was in charge of an experiment like the Stanford Prison Experiment, I think that I would have conducted something like that. I don’t see any moral reasoning why not to, all the participants were voluntary and there was nothing illegal being conducted and extremely valuable data has been extracted from it so I do not see the point of steering clear of this type of experiment. I think a good follow on study might have been a roll reversal, would the inmates have taken a different approach to the guard duties knowing how they were treated while inmates or would they have acted even more aggressive?
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 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
The Stanford prison experiment was unique because they wanted to watch and learn the behaviors of a prisoner and a prison guard, observing the effects they found some pretty disturbing things among the students. Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues at Stanford University stayed true to what they believed, and they did what they felt they needed to do to find a set of results for their simulation. Unfortunately they where swallowed into the experiment, when they became the roles, just as the students where. So from their point of view I want to say that what they where doing was ethical, and being that the prison experiment was stopped before its half way mark showed that they realized that it was time to call it quits. Dr. Zimbardo noticed
This report on the Stanford Prison Experiment will define the ethical issues related to prisoner treatment and prison culture in a mock scenario created 1971. The findings of this study define the inclination towards corruption and riotous behavior within the overarching relationship between guard and the prisoners. In a short period of time,. The prisoners became hostile and sought to start a riot in order to free themselves from abuses of the prison guards. In some instances, the issue of role-playing limited to reality of the event, but the ethical issues related to issue of prison corruption became evident in the study. The Stanford Prison Experiment provided some important aspects on how good people can became violent lawbreakers within the orison system. In essence, the ethical and experimental conditions of the Stanford Prison experiment define the corrupting culture of prisons in American society during the early 1970s.