The Zimbardo prison experiment (1971) was carried out at Stanford University in 1971. From August 14th, to August 20th, Professor Philip Zimbardo (1971) gathered 24 male students and set them up in a mock prison. The premise behind the experiment was that abusive behavior from prison guards and prisoners was due to inherent personality traits within the individual. By gathering these 24 students, Zimbardo (1971) hoped to show that guards and prisoners were not only abusive due to their personality, and not due to the situational circumstances. Philip Zimbardo (1971) published an advertisement offering fifteen dollars a day to any college students willing to participate in his mock prison.
Philosophical scholars feel that this experiment challenges free will because the people involved are no longer their usual selves. They have transformed into beings that are not like who they were before the experiment began; therefore, should not be responsible for their actions. Nonetheless, I stand by the notion that the guards were still responsible for their actions. Their environment provoked them to act in this way but conscious choices were still made in the midst of the experiment to treat the prisoners a certain way. In the moments of the experiment, they chose to beat the prisoners and treat them terribly.
In other words, this prison know to discipline and rehabilitate offenders who was ready to be released. The practice was not enough because Ellis was once again denied multiples times by the parole board of possibility being released because they still felt he was a danger to society. I noticed in the movie that many inmates had nothing to lose because they were given life sentences and hated how corrupted the prison was. The prison culture was not all that great according to the movie it also drove some people crazy leading many individual to do suicide or even have thoughts of it. I learned the purpose of parole is supposed to help prepare those in prison, but looking at how the movie was structure they did not provide any educational programs for those who were willing to learned.
Authority VS Freedom How would you act if you were locked up in a concentration camp and the guards made you suffer? If I were in there, I would listen to the guards because I want less suffered. In addition, I would not try to stand out in the crowed to receive punishment by the guards. In the Movie, The Stanford Prison Experiment, students were split to be two group, guards and prisoner. In the oppressive environment and authority to the guards, the guards were out of control, and they kept on punish prisoner until they broke down.
Jekyll’s conscience ultimately comes into play and knows that he cannot let Mr. Hyde be a permanent character in society as it is too dangerous. After trying to get himself to no longer turn into Hyde fails, he chooses to kill himself. “The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were...undignified...his every act and thought centered on self; drinking pleasure...from any degree of torture to another; relentless like a man of stone...but the situation was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp of conscience” (129). Jekyll realizes that he has made a bad decision by wanting himself to be able to act on his suppressed ideas as Hyde has put his life in jeopardy after killing a man. Jekyll knows that he cannot be caught because he carries out his evil thoughts through Hyde, who nobody suspects to be Jekyll as that would be seen as nonsense in that time period.
158). Maria describes how the members of Pussy Riot was forced by the prison guards to be taken away from the prison on purpose so that Pussy Riot would miss the meeting plan for their trial. This heavily impacted Pussy Riot’s case in the trial as they did not have the meeting promised with their lawyers, so during the trial, the lawyers were unprepared to defend Pussy Riot’s case creating an unfair trial. During the trial, Pussy Riot’s lawyers have been constantly dismissed from the judge whenever asking a question that relates to Pussy Riot’s performance. What makes this trial unfair is that the judge is purposely dismissing the questions that the lawyers, so they will not be able to do their job.
He would often walk out on us without any warning and return at any time. I did not understand, especially as a child, how significant of an impact his vanishing act would bestow upon me. I grew to be distrusting of others, because if my dad would let me down, then so would everyone else. I became bitter at the world and everyone it encompassed. I blamed my father’s mistakes on the world and believed that the world’s influence made my father do drugs, prefer all of the other women to my mom, and spend more time in jail than he did in his own home.
Now sure, the Stanford prison guards didn’t go that far as the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib but the torture and abuse towards the prisoners became worse by the day indicating they could have gone as far as Abu Ghraib. However, in both cases there are unusual punishments and cruelty. This was due to the authority allowing it, ordering it, just didn’t care or didn’t know. Like the Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo didn’t do anything to stop the abuses at the mock prison but allowed it. In both cases for humiliation, the guards forced the prisoners to strip naked for the guards’ enjoyment.
Because Zimbardo gave very vague instructions to the guards and only set certain standards, the participants were left with the question: what exactly is he was looking for? This is an example of demand characteristics and compliance. The guards wanted to please the researcher by doing what they thought was expected of them. In this case, the guards were brutal and mentally abusive. So much so that five volunteers were released early due to “extreme emotional depression, crying, rage and acute anxiety” and one of them was “treated for a psychosomatic rash” (Bottoms, 2014, p. 162-175).
When put into the position of complete authority over others people will show their true colors. I think that most people would like to think that they would be fair, ethical superiors. I know I would, but learning about the Stanford Prison Experiment has made me question what would really happen if I was there. Would I be the submissive prisoner, the sadistic guard, or would I stay true to myself? As Phillip Zimbardo gave the guards their whistles and billy clubs they drastically changed without even realizing it.