The Stanford Prison Experiment: Unethical Or Not

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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 the movie, there are 24 students chosen to participate in the experiment. The researchers conducted series of interviews to eliminate applicants that have psychological…show more content…
They were stripped naked and had all their personal possessions removed. They were only given a prison dress and has a chain on their right foot. On the other hand, the guards wore identical khakis. They were instructed to do whatever they thought is right to maintain law and order in the prison. But they are not given a permission to abuse the prisoners physically. The experiment was executed well. Yet, there are unethical practices happened during the experiment. First, the participants were not fully informed about the experiment. The researchers did not explain to the participants the processes in conducting the experiment. The participants were not informed that they would be arrested by cops in their homes. Another unethical practice was the breach of a contract signed between the participants and the researchers. It was unethical because the participants were taken their rights to object from the harassment of the guards. Zimbardo acted as a prison warden instead of reminding the guards that they should not abuse the…show more content…
It is because Zimbardo instructed the guards to clean and polish the prisoner’s cell when their parents visited. It was an unethical practice because they hid the real setting of the prison. They were afraid that the parents might insist on taking their son’s home if they would know the state of the jail. Although Zimbardo defended that the emotional distress experienced by the prisoners was unpredictable, it is still an unethical practice because he conducted it without realizing that there is a possible risk it may bring to the participants. He is a selfish psychologist who just wanted to get a result. He did not realize that he is starting to act like a prison superintendent than a researcher. He only realizes it when Christina Maslach, objected the experiment after she saw that the prisoners were being harassed by the guards. Even if the study has received a lot of ethical criticism, the result still helps Zimbardo to make a conclusion that is helpful for his future endeavor in research. Another thing that makes this experiment beautiful is that it can help the police and military offices to train their people in coping the stress of being imprisoned among the prisoners. It would help them to know how that prison environment has a great factor in creating brutal behavior among the
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