The Stanford Prison Experiment: A Journey Into Authoritarian Leadership Over the years, scientists, psychologists, and doctors have used social experiments to further their understanding of our surroundings. Social experiments are studies of the human mind and psyche through various environments. In this case, a social experiment called the Stanford Prison Experiment is what opened new doors for the comprehension of human behavior, how we act when we are in power, as well as offered a glimpse into the flaws in our legal system. This experiment was conducted in 1971 in Palo Alto, California. As stated in the name of the actual experiment, it was a simulation of how it was like to be imprisoned.
‘Prisoners’ were ridiculed and abused, causing them psychological and physical harm, demonstrated by the prisoner who had to leave the experiment after 36 hours. Another ethical question the experiment raises is the lack of prior knowledge of the outcome of the experiment, as Zimbardo could not accurately predict the experiment, making it unstable. At one point of the experiment, Zimbardo tried to convince the prisoner to continue to participate in the experiment, violating the participant’s withdrawal
The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted in the year of 1871 by the psychologist and professor Philip Zimbardo. The aim of the experiment was to see if the roles as a prison guard or a prisoner would affect their behaviour towards their roles they were randomly given and their role in society. The Stanford Prison Experiment was a Social Experiment which refers to the participants of the experiment being randomly selected, as each of the 24 males who participated were either selected as a prisoner who sits in a cell and follow instructions that the prisoner guards give or being selected as a prison guard who is outside the cells giving the instructions and keeping the prisoners in line. This experiment also has many extraneous variables
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.
Prisons in the 1971 were a truly horrific place. Not only were criminals being punished by incarceration but they were being day in and day out by cruelty of the prison staff. This corrupt system of retribution became evident to a man named Philip G. Zimbardo. Zimbardo’s initial aim of the Stanford Prison experiment was to determine if it was the environment or if it was the conflicting personalities between guards and criminals that brought about the brutality in prisons. The experiment developed into something more abstract.
He was also warned by fellow professors that publishing the details of such an unethical experiment might put his reputation and career in jeopardy. This violated the ethical obligation towards the participating children in the study, since this could reduce the benefits from conducting the experiment if its results were not used in appropriate cases where it would be useful. This also violated the principle of beneficence. The process of how the experiment was conducted may also have been unreliable, since Johnson may have had a biased opinion about it, as he himself was a stutterer. There was no extensive debriefing of the children after the study was complete to ensure that there were no lasting negative impacts on them.
In the start of the experiment, nothing was being executed. Zimbardo was expecting to have to shut it down because there was no purpose in doing it. However, a guard mindlessly took the first small step by stirring up trouble between the guards and prisoners. This began the revolution of blind obedience to authority. The guards were blindly obeying Zimbardo while the prisoners were obeying the guards and Zimbardo.
How can the events in the Stanford Prison Experiment be explained by the theory of deindividuation. Introduction Stanford Prison Experiment is a famous psychological study conducted by Philip Zimbardo in 1971. The main purpose of the experiment was to study the effects of a prison environment on the behavior of ordinary people. An artificial prison was constructed in the basement of Stanford University. Twenty-four mentally healthy men agreed to participate in this experiment for 15$ per day and were assigned to the roles of either prisoners or guards.
The film, The Stanford Prison Experiment, is an excellent modern-day example of social constructionism. The film expertly portrays the sheer intensity of the psychological effects that a prison would have on the minds of people. As well as how, over an extended time period, the volunteers would begin
Angela Davis demonstrates the ongoing violent abuse as she quotes a report on sexual maltreatment in women’s prisons, “We found that male correctional employees have vaginally, anally, and orally raped female prisoners and sexually assaulted and abused them” (Davis 78). However disturbing this blunt sexual contact that male officers take with the vulnerable prisoners may be, the officers adopt even more severe tactics to harass and abuse the women as they often utilize “mandatory pat-frisks or room searches to grope women 's breasts, buttocks, and vaginal areas...” (Davis 79). To add insult to injury, women are virtually incapable of escaping from their abuser(s). Prison employees upkeep their inappropriate behavior as it is believed they will “rarely be held accountable, administratively or criminally” (Davis 78). Davis specifies that the lack of accountability for inappropriate behavior is caused by faulty administrative action as she explains, “Grievance or investigatory procedures, where they exist, are often ineffectual...” (78).