The Broken Windows Theory: A Study

888 Words4 Pages
I started experimenting with knowledge of the human mind early in my career. I conducted research showing that participants who were “de-individualized” more readily inflicted pain and damage to others than did those who felt more individualized. It became known as The Broken Windows Theory. Our experiment consisted of two Oldsmobiles. Hoods popped, doors and trunk unlocked, and license plates removed; Placed in two very different community personalities, The Bronx, and Palo Alto. Before we could even start recording, The Bronx car was being stripped and sold for profit. While the car in Palo Alto hadn’t had a single act of vandalism against it for the two weeks it was there. It surprisingly was only touched once by a kindly gentleman who shut…show more content…
The Stanford Prison Experiment consisted of nine “prisoners” and nine “guards”. The prisoners were given identical outfits: smocks with numbers sewn onto them, a cap (To simulate shaved heads), and rubber clogs. The guards however, got to choose their uniforms, they received reflective aviator sunglasses and, a billy club. At first things went as expected, the prisoners rebelled just a little by joking round and having fun. The prisoners were woken up at the beginning of a new shift with new guards for “count”. The guards began teasing them and making them “sing” their numbers and assigning punishments as needed, such as pushups and jumping jacks. The guards took role almost all day everyday. The prisoners, tired from being woken up, broke out into a rebellion on just the second day. They put their bed springs against their cell doors the guards used force to get the prisoners back in their place. They threw prisoners in the pit for hours at a time, denying them food, water, and social contact. They went insane, their identities taken away from them; being referred to by strictly numbers. What was supposed to be a fourteen long day experiment, ended after three…show more content…
This book, was just the beginning of new discoveries about the human mind and habits. Most of us only know ourselves from limited experiences in familiar situations that involve rules, laws, policies, and pressures that constrain us. But what happens when we are exposed to totally new and unfamiliar settings where our habits don’t suffice? (Zimbardo 6). This book explains and provides examples of how this theory, is proved again and again throughout history. It talks about my experiments and my discoveries. It explains my interests, and hopefully a new one of yours. This very book, won me the William James book award. I’m not ashamed to say that it’s a very prestigious award in psychology because it took almost two years of research and was hard work to write that book that’s hopefully sitting on your bedside table. “The Lucifer Effect will forever change the way you think about why we behave the way we do. This is a disturbing book, but one that has never been more necessary” (Malcolm Gladwell). This book, constantly asks you questions you hoped you never had to
Open Document