Psychological Roles And Objectives Of The Stanford Prison Experiment

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The main aims of the Stanford Prison Experiment were to study the roles that people play in a prison environment and to determine what psychological effects the role of prisoner and guard had on the young students. The study was carried out in a simulated prison in which researchers, led by Philip Zimbardo, observed and recorded the effects of the institution on the students. Zimbardo wanted to find out whether the atrocity reported among guards in American prisons was due to the deranged personalities of the guards or due to the prison environment.(McLeod, 2008) The prison setting in a basement of Stanford University was developed with the guidance of a consultant, it had solitary confinement, no clocks and secret recording operations. Once the prison setting was constructed the experiment was ready to be conducted.…show more content…
From this, the applicants were narrowed down to a sample of 24 healthy, intelligent, middle-class males. A coin flip determined who would take on the role of prisoner and guard in order to collect fair and accurate results. There were 10 prisoners and 11 , the worked in sets of 3 per 24 hours. The prisoners were arrested from their homes without warning or consent. They were photographed, finger printed and booked. The humiliation procedure only escalated in order to study the behavior of the prisoners. The prisoners were degraded: being referred to only by their number, they were stripped of their clothes and given a smock. With that, the guards were given a uniform, a whistle, reflective sunglasses and handcuffs to make them feel
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