Stanford Prison Experiment Analysis

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The Stanford Prison Experiment was a study put together by Phillip Zambardo to test the psychological effects of a prisoner and guard scenario in a mock prison setting. The experiment lasted approximately fourteen days and was comprised of twenty-four male students, all of whom were picked at random to take part in the experiment. Each individual was also randomly given the role of either guard or prisoner. The mock prisoners were subjugated to psychological abuse, harsh authoritarian rule by the guards, and intense living conditions to ensure maximum results were met. Due to the intense amount of stress brought on from the ordeal, a few prisoners were unable to continue and the experiment concluded prematurely. Everything about this observation…show more content…
At last the experiment can proceed. Nothing will go wrong; after all, it is only an experiment. None of it is real. This is what Slater must have been repeating continuously to bring him some form of comfort. Contemplating all the possible failures he could endure as the experiment progressed. It may have been a good thing he did, it prepared him for what was about to happen. In this case, day two began as a horrible realization for Zimbardo. The inmates were blocking their cell doors with the beds provided and revolting against the guards. This forced overtime for many of the guards and caused them to retaliate by using fire extinguishers on the inmates. One guard came up with the idea to push a wedge against the opposition. “Privilege cells” were set up to give prisoners higher quality food and special items, if they did not riot with their peers. Unfortunately for the guards, this olive branch was rejected and anarchy continued. Prisoner #8612 was the first to lash out in a furious mental breakdown and removed only after 36 hours into the…show more content…
Christina Maslach, a UC-Berkeley psychology professor addressed in a formal conference amongst her peers how participants she became familiar with were dramatically changing before her very eyes. Maslach agrees when she states, "This man had been transformed. He was talking in a different accent. A Southern accent, which I hadn 't recalled at all. He moved differently, and the way he talked was different, not just in the accent, but in the way he was interacting with the prisoners. It was like seeing Jekyll and Hyde. . . . It really took my breath away" (Maslach). In other words, Maslach believes a good person can walk into any situation with a clear mind and good intentions, but the weight of the environment can be too strenuous and will cause the subject to adapt. Men with the ability of self control abused their privilege and became dictators. The authoritarian environment was so traumatic; it caused each role to slowly be developed, even without the need to push the participants. This particular guard went as far as to develop an accent which wasn’t his, because it was the best suited for his placement in that
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