The Idea Of Experimentation Of Prison Life Achieved By Stanford University Students

The Idea Of Experimentation Of Prison Life Achieved By Stanford University Students

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The idea of experimentation of prison life achieved by the Stanford University students was intriguing and the results were interesting. Haney, Banks, and Zimbardo’s study due to a result of their curiosity of the reactions of subjects when placed in prisoner or prison guard roles. Their inspiration for the study was somewhat unclear; however, hypothetically reasoning was placed on determining aspects of the actual reality of incarceration. The experimenters also strived to test the theory on whether prisoners face abhorrent conditions due to their interpersonal evils, or do to the aggressive and deviant behaviors of prison guards (Haney, Banks, Zimbardo, 1973).
The researchers went through extreme lengths to achieve as closely to an incarceration facility as possible. A prison infrastructure was created with all the intensities required. There were simulated prison cells fully equipped with solitary confinement areas, restrictions of food, restroom usage, and overall freedoms were put in place. The inmates were given identification numbers and were forced to wear uniforms. The study began with subjects randomly being arrested by actual law enforcement officials in front of friends and families; while prison guards were orientated, and informed of the hierarchy of the institution. Whereas the incarcerated were treated immediately as inhumane perpetrators; the prison guards we treated with respect from the very beginning. The investigators collected data by utilizing observation methods where the subjects were monitored even during times in which they thought were not.
Immediately the study reaped a multitude of empirical observations. The apparent contrast between the mock guards and prisoners were immediate. Observe...


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In conclusion, much intrigue and amazement has been placed on this study. Psychologically speaking this study is a testament on the ability of humans to lose their humanity. Limited rules were placed on both parties; however, due to the apparent mental branding by society there were an effortless transition to the traditional characteristics of each role. The mock prisoners lost the ability to understand that they were not convicted criminals. The subject prison guards mentally transitioned to actual correctional officers. Whereas the subject prisoners wanted to leave at any time and forgot that they could; many of the mock prison guards did not want to leave and thought of devious ways to antagonize. Although there was a lack of actual planning by the experimenters, the study still was ground breaking due to the empirical evidence retrieved alone.

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