A Study On The Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

A Study On The Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

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In 1971 a group of researchers came together headed by a Stanford University psychologist named Philip Zimbardo performed an experiment called The Stanford Prison Experiment. Using a mock prison setting in the basement of one of the campus buildings at Stanford University, with young college students roleplaying as either a prisoner or guard to determine the psychological effects in a particular social situation. His hypothesis being that social roles can influence and change the behavior of those given that particular role.
To gather candidates to examine Philip Zimbardo posts an ad in the newspaper looking for young college students to volunteer and be paid fifteen dollars per hour to participate in a one to two-week psychological study on prison life. Around seventy volunteers answer the ad, each go through a diagnostic interview and personality test to eliminate those with disabilities or any with a criminal background. In the end only twenty-four were accepted and were randomly assigned equally into two groups, prisoner or guard.
On August 14, 1971, the twelve men that were given the role as “prisoner” were arrested without warning and taken to the police station on charges of burglary and armed robbery in front of their family and friends. There they were processed, fingerprinted and photographed, by the police. Then were blindfolded as they were transferred to the mock prison that was built in one of the basement of a campus building. They were deloused, had their heads shaven, and given their uniform and ID number and then placed in a cell as they would in a real prison setting. The other twelve men were the “guards”, those men were given a guard’s uniform, sunglasses, and a baton. Their orders only being to do what t...


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...ent to do such a study because it fails to follow the standards of the current Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association compared to the ethics code that were established in 1971. If I was to do this experiment I would have altered some things such as, I wouldn’t be involved in the study as the warden but if I was I would have another researcher also monitor without a social role given to make sure I do not get settled into my role like Zimbardo did and lose sights as the experimenter, I would have also included other ethnicities into the study instead of only white middle class males The outcome I would look for would be to see if the prisoners and guards would adopt to their role as quickly as they did in Zimbardo’s study, and see if the different ethnicity will change the results that happened in Zimbardo’s study that only had middle class white males.

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A Study On The Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

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