Philip Zimbardo's Prison Experiment

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Philip Zimbardo created the SPE during the year of 1971 (Zimbardo, 2007). Zimbardo was eager to find out why humans turned considerably evil in the face of power. In order to solve his question, he conceived an experiment to find out exactly why. This experiment was designed to simulate exactly what piqued Zimbardo's interest: prison military guards and prisoners. Zimbardo placed an advertisement in the newspaper asking for college students who were willing to play the role of these guards and prisoners for at most two weeks at the price of fifteen dollars a day (Zimbardo, 2007). After Zimbardo sifted through plenty of applicants, he found a group of students that were mentally able to take part in the experiment. He divided them into two groups:…show more content…
Some guards are more forceful than others and place prisoners in the Hole or revoke privileges to demand attention and respect. Some prisoners started to protest these demeaning actions that were unnecessary from the guards. Guards retaliated with their various forms of indirect of abuse. This was when the first signs of distress occurred among the prisoners. The prisoners started to barricade themselves in their cells as a way to protest against the guards and in response, a guard blew a fire extinguisher onto the inmates of Cell 2 (Zimbardo, 2007). The second sign showed when prisoner Doug-8612 starts to go "ballistic" and demands to be released or he will cut himself or hurt other guards and cameras (Zimbardo, 2007). Zimbardo and his group took some time before deciding to release 8612 when they should have let him go sooner to prevent this type of mental stress and confusion. Both of these examples are violations of APA's Codes 3.04 and 8.08(c) (American Psychological Association, 2002). These codes provide that psychologists must go out of their way to prevent their subjects from being harmed (American Psychological Association,

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