Stanford Prison Experiment: Altruism Behavior

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Today we live in a world where nothing is free, and many people have an expectation on receiving something in return when they provide some sort of service for someone. However, society is helping create a norm of altruism by asking, advertising, and announcing situations when selfless acts are performed. Altruism behavior consists of being selfless and wanting to help others in need, without feeling obligated. Several psychologists define altruism as “a motivational state with the ultimate goal of increasing another’s welfare” (Batson, 1981). Thanks to the media, we are able to witness people demonstrating concerns for the welfare and well-being of others which has helped the encouragement for people to have altruistic behavior. However, not everyone has or feels the drive to be helpful towards others, and may choose to ignore situations with people in need of help. In Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE), it demonstrates how it is easy for an individual to …show more content…

Zimbardo can have all participants attend an ethics course and social skills class before the experiment in order to promote appropriate ethical behavior. If an individual receives social skills training and encouragement, it helps them gain empathy for others (Stepien & Baernstein, 2006). In addition, Zimbardo who is part of administration can model for the guards positive interactions with the prisoners, to help encourage positive behaviors between guards and prisoners. Lastly, Zimbardo can create positive labels for his participants to promote altruistic behavior by reminding them constantly that they caring and nice people. Furthermore, informing the guards that prisoners are there for rehabilitation and that everyone deserves more than one chance in life, can help promote a more positive environment. The more the guards are able to empathize with prisoners, the higher of a chance for them to display altruistic

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