Stanford Prison Experiment Analysis

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The Stanford Prison Experiment was a psychological study of the human response to captivity, in particular, the study focused on how people change. It was conducted in 1971 by Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University. Subjects were randomly assigned to play the role of guards and prisoners. Those assigned to play the role of guard were given batons made of wood and sunglasses, to keep the prisoners from making eye contact. The students who were assigned to play the prisoner role were arrested by the Palo Alto police department, were put through the booking process, forced to wear chains and prison outfits, and transported to the basement of the Stanford’s psychology wing, which had been converted into a “jail”. Students had no idea that the journey they were about to embark on was a journey that would lead them down a dark and sadistic path. After watching the video I was shocked yet intrigued. I was shocked because of how out of control the situation at hand got but I was intrigued how far down the rabbit hole the students tumbled when presented an opportunity to role play as either a prisoner or a guard. The prisoners although reluctant at first became subservient to the guards. The guards, especially the "John Wayne" guard took to this new sense of authority quickly. The mental distress is also unbelievable. Public humiliation, psychological warfare and sanitary conditions were the main reasons the prisoners were so broken down. It was overwhelming. Philip Zimbardo played the role as the investigator and as the warden. Zimbardo himself became lost in the experiment. With that being said, the end result data of the experiment cannot be trusted because Zimbardo made sure there were favorable conditions to get results instead of let... ... middle of paper ... ... the way things got out of hand was unethical. If I were Zimbardo, I would not have put myself into the study. I wouldn't have pushed to get the results I wanted to see and maybe if Zimbardo would have done that, he wouldn't have had to end the study early because he would still have been objective and would not have let the experiment get out of hand. Would I ever recreate the study? The study as we saw became dangerous for everyone participating. People were lost in their new personas. Also it would be really hard to find the perfect Mix of people to do this experiment. Zimbardo's mistake was only using white college males. To get the best results you would have to vary ages, ethnicities, backgrounds etc...but even then the results wouldn't be 100 percent accurate. We would only get an idea of the outcome. So I wouldn't waste money on doing this experiment again.
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