The Stanford Prison Experiment

1659 Words7 Pages
Introduction to Psychology
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Abstract

The Stanford Prison Experiment was a test undergone by Dr. Zimbardo in 1971, using a group of twenty-one (21) men split into two (2) groups of Prisoners and Guards. The experiment was a part of a larger project being undergone by the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Zimbardo was curious about the cause of human aggression and the links it may have to the social roles that people are given. The men quickly adapted into their roles, the guards showing continuously growing aggressive tendencies and the prisoners becoming more submissive. After the experiment, Dr. Zimbardo only managed to reform one prison law where minors charged with felonies
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Dr. Zimbardo decided to create a prison simulation, randomly assigning his research subjects into two different roles. He chose scholarly male college students as his participants. Half of the men were labeled as the “prisoners”, and the other half were given the role of the “guards”. Zimbardo acted as a prison warden, observing and recording their behaviors. There ended up being 10 prisoners and 11 guards who agreed to participate. The men who agreed to be prisoners in the experiment were treated as real life criminals. To make it as realistic as possible the men were arrested in their homes at random times without warning. They were taken to the local police station where they were fingerprinted, and had their photograph taken and put into police records. They were then blindfolded and taken to Stanford…show more content…
Zimbardo’s simulation is extremely striking and eye opening to how we handle our crimes, and how our society functions as a whole. It raises many valid arguments against our tactics of dealing with criminals, and makes you wonder if the guards and prisoners are only different because the title suggests so, because when it all boils down to it they are doing the same things. References
The Stanford Prison Experiment: Still powerful after all these years (1/97). (n.d.) Retrieved from http://news.stanford.edu/pr/97/970108prisonexp.html

Cognitive Dissonance. (1970, January 01). Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

Zimbardo 's Stanford prison experiment revealed how social roles can influence our behavior. We look at how it was conducted and what we can learn from it. (n.d.). How Zimbardo 's Prison Experiment Reveals Social Roles ' Effect On People 's Behavior. Retrieved, from https://www.psychologistworld.com/influence_personality/stanfordprison.php

Stanford Prison Experiment. (1970, January 01). Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/zimbardo.html

Haney, C., Banks, W.C., Zimbardo, P.G. (1973). A study of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison. Naval Research Review, 30, 4-17. Retrieved
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