The Stanford Prison Experiment Review

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Stanford Prison Experiment Review

In the Stanford Prison Experiment, a study done with the participation of a group of college students with similar backgrounds and good health standing who were subjected to a simulated prison environment. The participants were exposed completely to the harsh environment of a real prison in a controlled environment with specific roles of authority and subordinates assigned to each individual. The study was formulated based on reports from Russian novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky had spent four years in a Siberian prison and his view on how a man is able to withstand anything after experiencing the horrors of prison prompted Dr. Philip Zimbardo a Professor of Psychology at Stanford and his
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Before commencing the study all participants were briefed on the roles pertaining to the experiment without actually being assigned roles. Once roles were determined and assigned each participant was given specific instruction to their roles whether it be the role of the Guard or Prisoner. The group assigned to the prisoner role were greater in number and were instructed to be available at a predetermined time, this was done to maintain the reality of the simulation. The prisoners were arrested and escorted by real-life law enforcement officials and processed as any detainee would be in a real situation. Upon completing the processing part of the experiment the students were then transferred to the simulated prison, which was housed in the basement of the university, and assigned identifying numbers, given demeaning clothing as uniform and placed in barren cells with no personalized…show more content…
Having the study formulated after a prison environment presents a disturbing view on the effects it has on the individuals living in these conditions. As the study demonstrated both groups take on an alternate persona based on the roles assigned to them and the level of authority given to each. Today the same effect can be seen outside the prison environment, businesses experience this phenomenon as well. Managers are figures of authority within company and based on the type of management they exude, subordinates experience at different points some level of dominance over them. The results of the study are extremely valuable especially for the corrections industry, in recent years’ prisons have employed medical professionals that help inmates with psychological traumas and are able to utilize different outlets such as classes and work related activities within the corrections facility as a means to eliminate the negative effects on its
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