The Stanford Prison Experiment: Zimbardo's Ethical Paradigm

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This experiment fits into Kidder’s ethical dilemma paradigms of short-term vs long-term. In fact, Zimbardo choose the long term effects of his experiment over the short term effects of it. The Stanford prison experiment had a short-term effect on the university students that could not bear the prison life for long and the prison was ended after 6 days only. The long hours of imprisonment revealed that the students had become depressed while the guards had already become cruel at their maximum. The prisoners were humiliated and embarrassed by the guards. The guards were cruel and even made the prisoners do menial tasks. The prisoners also broke and could no longer control their emotions, some prisoners also went into depression. For example, one prisoner had to be released after 36 hours because of uncontrollable bursts of screaming, crying and anger. But, the experiment had long term effects that Zimbardo thought to be superior to the short-term effects, hence he decided to continue the experiment. Zimbardo chose to get the long-term effects instead of worrying about the short-term effects. The long-term effects of the Stanford Prison Guard experiment are that it has showed that social roles are a dominant strength in human nature. The guards and prisoners lived as though they were actually guards and prisoners.…show more content…
Even though the goals of this experiment were to study the psychological effects of prison on people, it did that and many more by showing how our behaviors can be changed through the roles we participate in. It was also learned that when playing a role most people have a normative conformity and this experiment as many ethical issues that have been discussed in this paper. Are we, as people, greater than the sum of our roles? Or are we truly defined by our roles, and our roles alone? These are questions that need to be reflected
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