By today’s standards, Zimbardo’s experiment would be seen as unethical and he would not have been given the authority to conduct such a cruel experiment. Therefore, gathering information to support his hypothesis would have to be collected by different measures. The most used method of collecting data about the power of social situations is better collected through alternative means like surveys and interviews because people are free to respond. Both the survey and interview research methods are done by targeting a section of the population and asking a series of questions either in an interview or via questionnaire (Doing Sociological Research, n.d., p.41). Another method for generating research data is through participant observation (Doing
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1). The guards themselves did not feel any guilt while enacting their behavior against the prisoners until after the experiment ended. The behavior of the guards may be related to the term of demand characteristics, which means that they acted the way they did just because they knew they were a part of a study. Zimbardo had told them how he wanted them to behave and they gave him just that. In a way the social desirability bias applies here because they were trying to conform to the “normal” idea of a prison guard.
The Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment has to be one of the cruelest and disturbing experiments I have witnessed since the Milgram experiment. This experiment was pushed far beyond its means and went extremely too far. I know experiments in 1971 weren’t as thorough and strategic as today's but I know today's rules and regulations never allow cruel and unusual punish just to test out one’s theory’s. I don’t believe criminologists should be permitted to conduct replications of Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment. I also know that the ACJS and other organizations who set the rules and guidelines for experiments would not promote or condone an experiment that is dangerous and is unethical such as Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment. There were no boundaries or a level
Likewise Zimbardo’s (1971) experiment, studying the way ‘prisoners’ and ‘guards’ interacted, demonstrated similar ethical failings, such as consent gained without individuals being made fully aware of the involvements; physical, emotional and psychological harm subjected; violation of rights, including privacy, respect, confidentiality and the ability to withdraw (). Fascinated by the volume of ordinary individuals who executed terrible things to others during WWII, Zimbardo predicted that all people, even the good, had the potential to conduct malevolence when sited in the correct environment (Haney et al, 1973). In a mock prison participants were recruited to play a role, half as prisoners and the rest as guards. Both were dressed accordingly, with the guards wearing a uniform with mirrored sunglasses which promotes anonymity as their emotions are obscured, but yet denotes their position of power and authority. According to Zimbardo (2000) these ‘conditions of deindividuation’ allow for the facilitation of evil. Subsequently it becomes acceptable to enforce measures which degrade prisoners of their self-respect, including being stripped, deloused and ordered to carry a chain around their ankle, whilst the mandatory wearing of a smock and a cap made from a stocking demoralized them as it impacted upon their masculinity. Additionally, not only were prisoners assigned a number by which they were referred to, denying them of their identity, but each area of their daily
To ensure to have satisfactory results in his study, Zimbardo required some preconditions. One of which was the period of time for the experiment to be conducted. He believed that one-to-two weeks would be essential in “providing our research participants with sufficient time for them to become fully engaged in their experimentally assigned roles of either guards or prisoners. Having [our] participants live in that setting day and night, if prisoners, or work for long eight-hour shifts, if guards, would also allow sufficient time for situational norms to develop and patters of social interaction to emerge, change and become crystallized” (Zimbardo, 2013). Other preconditions he had were the mentalities of his volunteers; are they “normal,” healthy mentally and physically, are they without any prior history of conviction or drug usage?
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.
This study is very conflicting to me, but overall, I feel that the experiment benefited us. In my opinion, I do not believe that Zimbardo began the study thinking that it was unethical. He took the steps to choose people who were mentally capable of withstanding the study, as well as able to rebound after the simulation was complete. Zimbardo couldn’t have predicted what would happen in the simulation. He even stated at one point in Quiet Rage how we was quite surprised with some of the actions the prison guards took and even those of the prisoners when it came to helping another prisoner. But I feel like Zimbardo prepared the participants for the study to the best of his capability. I understand that Zimbardo got caught up in his role as prison supervisor in the experiment, but once he realized the harm that was being done, he put a stop to the experiment. Although no one can tell before a study takes place whether the harm will be worth the benefits, in this instance, I believe that the benefits do outweigh the
The study of social psychology, particularly conformity, is very difficult to conduct both ethically and accurately in order to be able to obtain useful results. In the studies done by Milgram and Zimbardo, ethics were definitely breached but to what extent were these experiments useful, and which one offered the most insight into human behaviour?
Zimbardo was an active participant in the experiment he was basically the warden instead of being an observer, he was shaping the experiment in a way. In the documentary that was viewed in class, it was noticeable that the participants were all men. The sample is relatively narrowed down it is rather small in comparison a bit biased in a way. If there were women in the study the way things would have been different. The men would have behaved differently the result maybe would have been different. The result of the experiment is very astonishing as it surpasses what Zimbardo intended to. Particularly about the participant's behaviour before and during the experiment, the prisoners began behaving like one and associated themselves with the numbers they were given (Zimbardo, p. 130). It was amazing how quick their behaviour and thinking change in a matter of time. It was not even a whole week. The other surprise was when one of the guards who was using the shades started acting more violently when he started using them. The “prisoners” was treated unfairly and abused they forgot that they were just people volunteering for the study, they could have just said something to Zimbardo and they could have left without putting themselves in a difficult situation. Though the people that suffered depression was let
The Zimbardo prison experiment was a study of human responses to captivity, dehumanization and its effects on the behavior on authority figures and inmates in prison situations. Conducted in 1971 the experiment was led by Phlilip Zimbardo. Volunteer College students played the roles of both guards and prisoners living in a simulated prison setting in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.
Most of the guards appeared to enjoy the power and authority that they had over the prisoners, and although the there was some guards hesitant to join; they eventually end up becoming assertive and behaving in the same way. This is a perfect example on how someone good with no bad history is capable of becoming evil or allowing evil to happen in order to blend in with their role and/or the environment.
I’m glad we are going further into this topic since it’s such a complex one. I do believe that Zimbardo’s experiment was ethical, despite the fact that it needed to have been ended long before it actually was. However, I do not believe that his actions during the experiment could be labeled as such.
The two experiments were a tested at different time periods and for different purposes. For instance, the Milgram experiment was originally tested to study obedience to authority, in response to Adolf Eichmann trial, a Nazi war criminal, that stated he,” was just stating orders under the Reich.” The experiment proved to be that under authority rule, actions, even if morally wrong and unethical can be still taken forward with due to a strict authority presence.
This paper serves to summarize The Zimbardo Prison Experiment, better known as The Stanford Prison Experiment which was conducted by Phillip Zimbardo in 1971 at Stanford University. The purpose of the study was to conduct research in order to better understand the psychological components of human aggression and submission to include conformity and obedience in a prison environment with a select group of subjects playing roles as either prison guards or inmates, however, I should note, according to McLeod, S. (2016), The Navy’s intent or purpose for the experiment was to better understand how to train members of the armed forces on how to cope with stress associated with captivity as opposed to making American Prison systems more humane. Another interesting point of note is that Zimbardo conducted this experiment shortly after World War II, and the Vietnam War where concern was raised as to some of the atrocities carried out in those wars where “ordinary” people conducted heinous acts per instruction from so-called authoritative figures. Experiments with similar objectives were carried out by Stanley Milgram and others. (Jones, A. D., & Milgram, S. 1974)
Great thoughts Jillian. I couldn’t agree with you more about everything you just discussed. I too wrote about the entrance to the makeshift jail for the so called “inmates”. The abduction from their houses and the strip searches and mental torture that ensued are the farthest thing from ethical. It’s crazy to think that a man, Philip Zimbardo, who dedicates his life to research would diliberatly act in such a way. I have no doubt that going into day 2 of this experiment that Zimbardo knew what was occuring was unethical and wrong. It saddens me that he allowed it to go on as long as it did. The experiment itself was unethical but the lying and deciveing on the part of Zimbardo makes him just as guilty.
Throughout history there have been hundreds upon hundreds of influential figures, although not all of them have devoted their career to understanding the human mind. Of the few who have devoted their time to this hugely important task, Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo’s theories and experiments have made him stand out, and differentiate himself from the rest in his profession. Zimbardo 's area of expertise in the field of psychology is social psychology, the branch that deals with social interactions, including their origins and their effects on the individual. Zimbardo may be most well known for his Stanford Prison experiment, an experiment that seems to address the definition of social psychology perfectly. In this experiment Zimbardo had clinically healthy and sane people volunteer for the position of a prison guard or a prisoner and see how they behaved, for fifteen dollars a day. The prison was actually the basement of the Stanford psychology building, where the experiment would take place for a planned 14 days. As said before, the prisoners and guards were all tested as mentally healthy, and for the sake of the experiment were arrested, and processed on a random morning, August 14th 1971. (Zimbardo, 2007, p. 23). The results of this experiment are outstanding, shocking, and somewhat disturbing, making this one of, if not, the most unethical psychological experiments. Although the experiment is considered wildly immoral, Zimbardo is one of the most influential psychologists