Normal People Behaving Evil The Stanford Prison Experiment was an experiment to see if normal people would change their behavior in a role-play as a prisoner or a prison guard. The experiment was conducted by Dr.Philip Zimbardo in 1973 at Stanford University that caused numerous amount of trauma to prisoners by prison guards in their role-playing position which forced Dr. Zimbardo to officially terminate the experiment six days after it was introduced. Due to the cruel aggressive behaviors from the guards, the experiment led to a question, "Do "normal" people have the capability of behaving badly?" The answer to that question is that most likely an individual who behave normally will have the capability of expressing evil behavior due to the environment that they are surrounded. The supreme power of authority and having no remorse feelings with the addition of having an influence environment are the …show more content…
This connects to the idea of guards having the capability of turning evil through an atmosphere of the prison environment where they can turn evil and have no remorse feelings towards the prisoners. From the article, "Stanford Prison Experiment," by Saul McLeod, he explained that the evil tactics that were made by the guards were from the atmosphere of the prison environment because the norm for a prison guard is to act tough and have no remorse feelings towards the prisoners when assigning punishments. He also added that guards acted this way because they lost their sense of personal identity when they dressed up as a guard, which can show they may have believed that they were actual guards and the experiment was real, which might’ve triggered their dark side with harsh punishments. Therefore, losing their personal identity in a prison environment may have been the factor where they triggered their evil side during the prison
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Situational effects and personality come into conflict when discussing behavior. Personality is someone’s “usual pattern of behavior, feelings, and thoughts” (Twenge, 2017, p.20). It remains constant throughout different situations, but some situations can be stressful enough to make a person act out of character. The transition between a person’s normal personality and behavior to a more evil, sinister behavior fascinates a man named Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the infamous Zimbardo Prison Experiment, or Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). Zimbardo is an American psychologist at Stanford University and the mastermind behind the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment (The Story).
Stanford Prison Study: The Stanford prison study was created by Philip Zimbardo who wanted to know what happens if you put good people into bad situations. He created an experiment in which individuals were given a role as a prisoner or a guard. They were then placed in a mock prison and instructed to play their roles for two weeks. As the individuals accepted the roles more and more they started to lose reality. Prisoners started going crazy because they were being treated so terribly by the guards.
I found the Stanford Prison experiment to be very disturbing, especially in the context of the recent events involving police misconduct and brutality. I think the Stanford experiment demonstrates that people in positions of power that abuse that power are not necessarily predestined to abuse the power, but the position that they are in can encourage it. For example, nearly all police officers are required to go through an intense background and psychological exams to becomes police officers. However, as recent and past events have shown, police misconduct is a major issue. I think that this evidence demonstrates the need for more continuing education and monitoring to ensure that those who experience high stress situations (without proper
From the video provided this week and doing some personal reading, the phenomenon behind the Stanford prison experiment was a social psychology experiment, this was a prison environment simulation that was supposed to last 2 weeks. The goal was to observe the effects of variables on participants' reactions and behaviors, this experiment was designed to determine if prison brutality is a result of malicious guards and evil prisoners, or whether institutional roles of guards and prisoners embitter and harden even compassionate individuals. Zimbardo wanted to put good people in an evil place and see what would happen. As the Social Psychology textbook says “Do the people make the place violent, or does the place make the people violent? Cristina
The Stanford Prison Experiment began just like any other, with a general question: “Would someone who is put into a negative environment be able to control their behavior
Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiment” was an experiment that turned into more of a catastrophe for all parties involved. It started out as an experiment to observe whether brutality in prison was due to the guards' predisposition and their “sadistic” personalities or if it was due to the general environment of the prison (Mcleod). Both the guards and the prisoners assumed their roles very quickly and behaved according to their role. It did not take long for the rules of the experiment (no physical abuse) to be broken. It was clear that this power and role of authority went to the guards’ heads and the prisoners adapted to a helpless obedient role.
The guards were instructed to maintain order anyway they wanted without using physical violence. Zimbardo wanted the guards to seem intimidating while the prisoners were made to look inferior and were to be referred to with their ID number only. After the prisoners were assigned their roles and the guards took their post was the effect of the experiment finally setting in. On the morning of the second day the prisoners began to rebel against the guards by ripping off their ID numbers and barring the doors while taunting the guards. This event was the first step down the slippery slope that would follow.
Authority gives a person the chance to feel superior, and as seen throughout this film, those within the position of authority will only then abuse this opportunity. Given the chance for people to gain authority or rather the sense of authority is enough to awaken the evil within. Within the movie, The Stanford Prison Experiment the guards were enabled to set a line of difference between the prisoners and themselves. They were able to make the prisoners feel weak or emasculated, forcing the students to strip and wear the assigned prison clothes that barely covered their genitals (Alvarez). Forcing the prisoners to wear these feminine articles of clothing and assigning them a number, gives the opportunity to strip away their personality and
Stanford Prison Experiment Philip Zimbardo questioned, “What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” (Zimbardo, 1971) In 1971 a psychologist named Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment on the effects prison has on young males with the help of his colleague Stanley Milgram. They wanted to find out if the reports of brutality from guards was due to the way guards treated prisoners or the prison environment.
He started to behave in a way that was cruel and far harsher than the rest of the guards and at the end of the experiment claimed it was because he was conducting his own experiment to see how far they would let him go until they retaliated. The way he behaved portrayed that, even though he might not have come into the experiment with the intention to release that behavior from within, but his actions became a roll that he took too far. A sociocultural component shown in the film were the ways that the volunteer guards interpreted the stigmas around being a prison guard. That they should be cold, strict, and unnervingly verbally abusive. Time upon time in the film, the volunteer guards were verbally abusive of their power with the prisoners.
Stanford Experiment: Unethical or Not Stanford Prison Experiment is a popular experiment among social science researchers. In 1973, a psychologist named Dr. Philip Zimbardo wants to find out what are the factors that cause reported brutalities among guards in American prisons. His aim was to know whether those reported brutalities were because of the personalities of the guards or the prison environment. However, during the experiment, things get muddled unexpectedly. The experiment became controversial since it violates some ethical standards while doing the research.
In 1971, Philip Zimbardo set out to conduct an experiment to observe behavior as well as obedience. In Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment, many dispute whether it was obedience or merely conforming to their predesigned social roles of guards and prisoners that transpired throughout the experiment. Initially, the experiment was meant to test the roles people play in prison environment; Zimbardo was interested in finding out whether the brutality reported among guards in American prisons was due to the sadistic personalities of the guards, disposition, or had more to do with the prison environment. This phenomenon has been arguably known to possibly influencing the catastrophic similarities which occurred at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003.The
Even though there are people willing to risk it all to go back to the life they had, there are some that become submissive and stop fighting. In Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Stanford phycology department. They recruited college students to run a mock prison so they could study the effect of becoming a prisoner and a prison guard. In this experiment that was supposed to run for two weeks ended up being stopped by the researchers on the six day because it was getting out of control. This is stated by the heads of the experiment Philip Zimbardo, Craig Haney, W. Curtis Banks, and David Jaffe in their report of the experiment.
Conformity occurs when individuals lose their personal identity and become more focused on fulfilling their assigned roles. In this state, individuals may be more likely to engage in behaviors that they would not typically exhibit as individuals. The "good" guards might have been influenced by the role of a guard, adopting the behaviors and attitudes associated with that role, including following the orders of the tough or bad guards. The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted over a relatively short period of time (six days) and ended abruptly due to ethical concerns when the guards saw each other in civilian clothes again and witnessed the reconversion of the prison setting to a regular hallway, they might have experienced a sense of relief and disorientation. They would likely realize that the intense power dynamics and the authority they held during the experiment were no longer applicable.
The second aspect that should be highlighted from the author’s hypothesis is that guards themselves, the authority was in a specific mind-set which comes with the role, and most significantly the uniform which played a major role. This enabled them, psychology to commit the negative acts against the prisoners in the experiment. What reinforces this idea the uniforms enabled this is the experiment encouraged negative as well as positive engagement with the prisoners. However most of those involved in the guard roles engaged almost entirely in negative behavior.