The Zimbardo Study Psychology

Decent Essays
The Zimbardo (1971) study was an intense demonstration of the affects that prison can have on people. As I read I was shocked over many of the aspects of the study and concerned with the consequences the study may have. Lack of training for the guards and their control that they would have over the prisoners was what I thought was the first mistake of the experiment. Throughout the study, I continued to asked myself, what if a guard takes it too far will there be consequences? What should be considered too far since there were no direct rules established for the guards? While reading, I felt anticipation of what was going to be the outcome, fearing for the prisoners. The simulation of the uniform, chain, and stocking were appropriate in creating…show more content…
As Mitchell and Jolley (2013) express in their writings, questioning is it ethical to conduct studies that can have a harmful mental effect on subjects. Cost-benefit to the researcher would be acceptable. Explaining the sacrifice of one person’s mind outweighs the negative affects with the benefits being the help of a mass majority. Cost-benefit for participants would however not be acceptable, fifteen dollars a day for six days is not worth the mental destruction of their lives. Leaving their families and other health professional to deal with the long term affects.In the event I was a participant today and with my experience I feel this is something that my mind could handle and would not have asked to withdraw. As a soldier, I have dealt with similar situation and have survived, however admit returning from war changed. Situations not exactly like the ones described in the experiment (Zimbardo,1971) but a prisoner in a foreign land where quitting was not an option. Following orders from leaders because survival was the end mission. I agree with terminating the study early any further continuation may have caused irreversible damage to the participants. Zimbardo (1971) explains how all participants had fallen deep into their roles causing a false reality. Ending the study earlier should have been implemented, the variables were uncontrolled and participants lives and mental health was called into question. Perhaps if more planning and specifics were put into place the experiment could have lasted the planned two
Get Access