Effects Of The Stanford Prison Experiment Philip Zimbardo

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The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted by Phillip Zimbardo at Stanford University in 1971 and was funded by the US Naval Office. The experiment consisted of 24 volunteer college students who were paid $15 a day to serve as guards and prisoners in a simulated prison environment. Prior to the experiment, each volunteer was given a diagnostic interview to eliminate anyone with “psychological problems, medical disabilities, or a history of crime or drug abuse.” The experiment “was intended to measure the effect of role-playing, labeling, and social expectations on behavior over a period of two weeks,” but Zimbardo ended it after six days due to abuse by the guards and the psychological wellbeing of the prisoners. By the second day of the experiment, Zimbardo already noticed behavioral changes in both the guards and prisoners. After a planned rebellion by the prisoners, guards began exhibiting stronger, more aggressive attitudes toward the …show more content…

On the one hand, Scripture is clear that we are all born with evil inside us. Romans 3:10 states, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (NKJV). Scripture shows us that those placed in positions typically associated with authoritative or aggressive behavior tend to exhibit those characteristics. Kingship turned Saul from a reluctant leader into a king throwing spears at his successor. The throne turned David from a humble shepherd to a man who stole another man’s wife and murdered him. An editorial from Christianity Today puts it this way. “Without the restraining influence of God's grace, we are all prone to mistreat others. We are, as Augustine put it, bent in on ourselves, and this spiritual deformity means that we are likely to mistreat others.” Given Zimbardo’s conclusions, it would seem to coincide with Scripture to say that hearts bent toward evil will quickly act evil when put in a situation that seems to allow or even encourage

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