“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is” was said by philosopher Albert Camus. In the Stanford Prison Experiment, man does not. The Stanford Prison Experiment aimed to reveal the result of creating a fake prison containing Stanford students who willingly offered to participate as prisoners and guards. They were fully aware that it was not an actual prison. In the experiment, the guards became violent and abusive toward the prisoners. Most of the prisoners did not fight back due to fear.
The Stanford prison experiment was led by Philip Zimbardo with the purpose of studying the psychological effects of being a prisoner and a prison guard. The participants of the research study were male college students. Once selected, a coin toss determined which males would be prisoners and prison guards. The experiment took place at Stanford University, where a mock prison was crafted. Zimbardo acted as the warden or superintendent of the mock prison. Within 24 hours of the experiment, the prison guards began to humiliate and mentally abuse the prisoners. The prison guards were given little instructions about how to treat the prisoners, except that there was not to be any physical force used on the prisoners. The lack of instructions that
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. Zimbardo offered $15 per day for two weeks to take part in the experiment. The experiment was held in the basement of Stanford University Psychology building; they turned it into a mock prison.
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. They often gave them punishments such as, physical exercise, sleep deprivation, as well as revoked their privileges, smoking, parole and comfort items like bedding. In one case they even as far as refusing to provide glasses to one of the
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
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.
This experiment was very educative and informative study which is a simulation of the prison life in most prisons in the world today, were the subjects have been made to understand that they have no human rights as they deserve such hostile treatments. I recall in my country we could witness prisoners being carried in a “caged” trucks transporting them to go and work on people’s private farms, and they pay money to the administrators of these institutions so called rehabilitation centers were prisoner are subjected under very hard conditions thinking they are shaping their behaviors positively .In line with this pattern of thought, it’s not enough to say that only prisoners are responsible for the undesirable conditions in the prison but also the administrators
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). From the results of his study, Zimbardo explains the Lucifer Effect and how morally righteous people can do malicious things. The effect of both the one’s current
The participants of the Stanford Prison experiment were healthy young men who were promised a nominal fee for their services. These participants were blindfolded and assumed the role of prisoner or guard in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford University. Prisoners were stripped, chained, belittled and humiliated by the guards. The prisoners lost their identity. They became a number. The Stanford Prison Experiment displayed a sense of urgency to evaluate our ability to “run with the crowd” or remain true to your ethical beliefs.
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.
This experiment was conducted in Stanford University by Dr. Zimbardo. During this two week long session, Dr. Zimbardo had several volunteers agree to act as prisoners and as prison guards. The prisoners were told to wait in their houses while the guards were to set up the mock prison, a tactic used by Dr. Zimbardo to make them fit into their roles more. The official police apprehended the students assigned to the role of prisoner from their homes, took mug shots, fingerprinted them, and gave them dirty prison uniforms. The guards were given clean guard uniforms, sunglasses, and billy clubs borrowed from the police. 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. The guards took matters into their own hands and drove the prisoners out of their cells. The guards began to take on cruel and sadistic behaviors by humiliating the prisoners with menial tasks such as cleaning their latrines with their bare hands. After the sixth day the experiment was terminated because it was immoral to the prisoner group, of which lost three members due to mental breakdowns. It was concluded that many people tend to fit into social norms and don’t consider personal responsibility even for acts that are
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.
The Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by psychologist Philip Zimbardo in 1971 illustrated the direct relationship between power of situations and circumstances to shape an individual’s behavior. During this study 24 undergraduates were grouped into roles of either a Prisoner or a Guard, the study was located in a mock correctional facility in the basement of Stanford University. Researchers then observed the prisoners and guards using hidden cameras. The study was meant to last two weeks. However, the brutality of the Guards and the suffering of the Prisoners was so intense that it had to be terminated after only six days. During this period, Zimbardo observed the radical change in the personalities of the participants embodying the role of the prison guard, as they changed from ordinary young men to men with a vicious and sadistic character. Zimbardo stated that he was trying to portray what transpired when all of the individuality and dignity was stripped away from a human, and their life was completely controlled. He wanted to demonstrate the dehumanization and loosening of social and moral values that can happen to guards immersed in such a situation (“Stanford Prison Experiment”). This experiment has been used to exemplify the cognitive dissonance theory and the power of authority. In addition, the findings advocate the situational explanation of behavior rather than the dispositional one.
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
Introductory Textbooks know that they don’t need the Stanford Prison Experiment to be awesome since the belief is that they’re already awesome. You and I might not share the same opinions but who knew textbooks could be all that. Which is ironic because The Stanford Prison Experiment is one of the most famous experiments in psychological history. Haslam and Reicher say the SPE website receives 7,000 visitors each day. Richard Griggs asks the question, is with the Stanford Prison having such prestige, why don’t some textbooks include this famous experiment and critiques?