The Stanford Prison Experiment: Philip Zimbardo Essay

1482 Words 6 Pages
You’re sitting at your house, you hear a knock at the door. You go and open it and to your surprise it’s the police. They’re turning you around and placing cold metal handcuffs on you while you’re getting read your miranda rights and spread eagle against the cop car while you’re searched. You’re being slung into the back of a cop car and driven to the police station, sirens wailing. When you arrive you get your picture taken, but you don’t smile. They take your finger and dip it in ink, then push it down hard on a piece of paper. They then put you back into the police car and drive you to another location. You’re still handcuffed, and you’re taken in. They put you in a dress, they put cold, heavy, loud shackles on your ankles. …show more content…
The university put out ads in the local newspaper asking for volunteers to help with an experiment focusing on the psychological effect of prison life. The ad promised the volunteers fifteen dollars per day to participate in the experiment. Seventy volunteers came forward and responded to the ad. Every single one of them were given diagnostic interviews to help rule out any forms of psychological problems, such as: anxiety, depression, medical disabilities, or a history of drug use or criminal behavior. This eliminated unfit volunteers for being apart of the experiment and future problems. After all the interviews only twenty four students were qualified to participate in the experiment. The group was randomly divided and by the flip of a coin the two groups were assigned to be either prisoners or guards. Zimbardo wanted to make it clear to the two groups that at the beginning there was nothing different about the boys. As the experiment went on, however, that would change. The students were taken into a room at the Palo Alto police station and former prisoners and former or current prison guards came to speak to the groups to give them an insight of the events that would occur to them the following days. They also gave them examples and explained what it was like to be an individual in their role. While this was occurring, professionals at the university were turning the basement of the psychology building into a…