Compare And Contrast The Milgram Experiment And The Stanford Prison Experiment

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Since the beginning of the human existence, man has always dominated and ruled over one another be it empires, corporations, or small groups. Authority and obedience has always been a factor of who we are. This natural occurrence can be seen clearly through the psychological experiments known as The Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Both of these studies are based on how human beings react to authority figures and what their obedience is when faced with conflict. During the 1960’s Stanley Milgram conducted a series of experiments to test how a person reacts to authority. He started these tests in response to World War Two and the reports of the German soldiers who claimed they were “just following orders’ when asked about …show more content…

This experiment was conducted in Stanford University by Dr. Zimbardo. During this two week long session, Dr. Zimbardo had several volunteers agree to act as prisoners and as prison guards. The prisoners were told to wait in their houses while the guards were to set up the mock prison, a tactic used by Dr. Zimbardo to make them fit into their roles more. The official police apprehended the students assigned to the role of prisoner from their homes, took mug shots, fingerprinted them, and gave them dirty prison uniforms. The guards were given clean guard uniforms, sunglasses, and billy clubs borrowed from the police. The guards were instructed to maintain order anyway they wanted without using physical violence. Zimbardo wanted the guards to seem intimidating while the prisoners were made to look inferior and were to be referred to with their ID number only. After the prisoners were assigned their roles and the guards took their post was the effect of the experiment finally setting in. On the morning of the second day the prisoners began to rebel against the guards by ripping off their ID numbers and barring the doors while taunting the guards. This event was the first step down the slippery slope that would follow. The guards took matters into their own hands and drove the prisoners out of their cells. The guards began to take on cruel and sadistic behaviors by humiliating the prisoners with menial tasks such as cleaning their latrines with their bare hands. After the sixth day the experiment was terminated because it was immoral to the prisoner group, of which lost three members due to mental breakdowns. It was concluded that many people tend to fit into social norms and don’t consider personal responsibility even for acts that are

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