Zimbardo's Experiment, Studying The Way ' Prisoners ' And ' Guards '

1969 WordsApr 25, 20158 Pages
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
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