Essay On Stanford Prison Experiment

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Stanford Prison Experiment
Philip Zimbardo questioned, “What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” (Zimbardo, 1971) In 1971 a psychologist named Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment on the effects prison has on young males with the help of his colleague Stanley Milgram. They wanted to find out if the reports of brutality from guards was due to the way guards treated prisoners or the prison environment. Zimbardo offered $15 per day for two weeks to take part in the experiment. The experiment was held in the basement of Stanford University Psychology building; they turned it into a mock prison.
To begin the experiment Zimbardo interviewed over 70 applicants and done testing on each to eliminate candidates with psychological issues. Only 24 males were chosen to participate in the experiment. The participants were randomly selected by flipping a coin. They were either made a guard or an inmate; There were 10 inmates and 11 guards. Zimbardo wanted the “criminals” to feel like real criminals and treated like real criminals. He had the participants arrested at their own homes and taken to the police station to go through the whole process of …show more content…

On day six Zimbardo and Milgram decided to conclude the experiment. Zimbardo originally intended to explore how prisoners adapt to powerlessness, but he has contended that the experiment demonstrates how swiftly arbitrary assignment of power can lead to abuse. (Maher, The anatomy of obedience. P. 408) Once the experiment was completed Zimbardo and Milgram concluded that generally people will conform to the roles they are told to play. They also concluded that the environment of the prison played a vital role in the way the guards treated the prisoners. It is believed that this experiment changed the way some U.S. prisons are

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