Stanford Prison Experiment By Zimbardo

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Stanford Prison Experiment (1971, Zimbardo):
Aim: To study the two following problems:
“1. The development of norms which govern behavior in a novel situation. The creation of a psychological environment within the physical environment provided.
2. The differential perception of the same situation "the prison experience" from people who are initially comparable (from the same population) but arbitrarily assigned to play different roles.”
Purpose: “A simulated prison will be established somewhere in the vicinity of Palo Alto, Stanford, to study a number of problems of psychological and sociological relevance.”
Taken from: http://pdf.prisonexp.org/geninfo.pdf

Participants: Educated, male, American university students, with no prior psychological issues.

Procedure:
Convert the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department into a mock jail center, where barred windows and doors had been put into place, making the simulation of prison as real as possible, with one “solidarity” room for misbehaving prisoners.
Advertise the experiment to look for volunteers. Once applications arrived, Zimbardo conducted several psychological tests on the volunteers to minimize the differences between the participants as well as screen for potential psychological differences (sadism, etc.)
Randomly allocate the role of guards
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‘Prisoners’ were ridiculed and abused, causing them psychological and physical harm, demonstrated by the prisoner who had to leave the experiment after 36 hours. Another ethical question the experiment raises is the lack of prior knowledge of the outcome of the experiment, as Zimbardo could not accurately predict the experiment, making it unstable. At one point of the experiment, Zimbardo tried to convince the prisoner to continue to participate in the experiment, violating the participant’s withdrawal
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