Essay on Psychological Effects Of A Prisoner And Guard Scenario

Essay on Psychological Effects Of A Prisoner And Guard Scenario

Length: 1963 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 was sadistic and inhumane, but it did provide the necessary information to help the field of psychology. Environment was a cogent factor for the men becoming violent and power-hungry.
Although the experiment was brief, it gave a great deal of insight into how environment can abruptly affect the psychological well-being of an individual. Zimbardo states, “Would those good people, put in that bad, evil place—would their goodness triumph?” (Cherry). Everyone has darkness within them and all it takes is a little push to show what a person may be truly capable of. Every person picked for this experiment was not predominately “evil” to begin with. There was no real reason for them being chosen, other than space was needed to be filled. I found Zimbardo’s experiment to be very intriguing; however, the environment in which they were forced into made the men into monsters and cowards. The only good to come from this science project was the insight into how we become the person we depict ourselves t...


... middle of paper ...


...Good, honest men were turned into self entitled drones. Although it had many negative features, the experiment proved to be detrimental to the psychological community. Was it necessary to take it as far as these men did just for science? Much sacrifice was made during the course of the trial; nevertheless, it confirmed under the right circumstances any man can be broken or created. Given the right mixture of situation and circumstance, good men were molded into something much different. Strong men were broken down into a shadow of their former self. As the prominent poet John Milton puts it, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” We are the defining factor of our metamorphosis, but when the will is broken we lose the ability to keep ourselves in control. In the end, we are all good apples, just sitting in a bad barrel.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Psychological Effects Of Becoming An Inmate Or Corrections Officer Essay

- On August 17, 1971, a team of researchers at Stanford University conducted a several day observational study to understand the psychological effects of becoming an inmate or corrections officer. Led by psychology professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the research team randomly assigned twenty-four male college students to play the role of a prisoner or guard in a makeshift prison that had been constructed on university grounds. Weiten (2013) defines random assignment as: “The constitution of groups in a study such that all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition.” Because the subjects were assigned to their individual roles by flipping a coin, Zimbardo successfully...   [tags: Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment]

Better Essays
1621 words (4.6 pages)

The Psychological And Sociological Factors That Help A Scenario From Caseworld

- The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss the psychological and sociological factors which contribute to a scenario from CaseWorld. The case will explore John’s use of violence and Anne being a victim of violence. In contrast, the psychological and sociological factors are relevant into the gaining an understanding of why the abuse is occurring, through identification of the psychosocial status of both Anne and John, this will develop an understanding of factors and theories why the abuse occurring....   [tags: Domestic violence, Abuse, Violence, Child abuse]

Better Essays
1382 words (3.9 pages)

The Stanford Prison Experiment : Behavioral And Psychological Consequences Of Becoming A Prisoner

- The Stanford Prison Experiment In August of 1971, American psychologist, Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment at Stanford University studying the behavioral and psychological consequences of becoming a prisoner or a prison guard. He wanted to observe how situational forces impacted human behavior. Zimbardo, along with prison experts, a film crew, and a former prison convict dramatically simulated a prison environment both physically and mentally in order to accurately observe the effects of the institution on its participants....   [tags: Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment]

Better Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Psychological Effects of Child Abuse Essay

- Due to the rise of domestic violence in many families, psychologists are helping affected children cope and confront their emotional imprisonment by using various methods. Over the years, there has been a drastic increase in domestic violence cases. In many instances, the children are most affected in the involvement of the violent disputes. Psychologists study the behaviors of affected children and develop a plan of treatment that aim towards the child’s overall health. Psychologists provide the best treatment by immersing themselves inside the child’s situation and connecting with what the child sees....   [tags: Domestic Violence, Treatment, Therapy]

Better Essays
1222 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Summary and Evaluation Summary: The book “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is the third book in the series about Harry Potter. In this book, Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Prisoner of Azkaban in this book is Sirius Black, who everyone believes is responsible for killing 13 muggles (non-wizards). They also believe he told Voldemort where Lilly and James Potter were hiding. Azkaban is a prison where evil wizards are jailed....   [tags: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]

Free Essays
1221 words (3.5 pages)

Athletes and the Effects of Pre-Game Jitters Essay examples

- ... Early in his book, Lawrence identifies that pre-game jitters are in fact a humongous problem that athletes face today. They focus on the “pessimistic” side of things and get the subject to detour away from the task at hand. In another study done by Nohria, it was found that among male athletics 79% experienced some sort of jitters before game time. When female athletes were polled on the same topic, 85% said they had experienced pre-game jitters also. It can be determined by the results presented that athletes in one way or another do in fact experience pre-game jitters....   [tags: psychological and physical effects]

Better Essays
758 words (2.2 pages)

Psychological Effects On The Correction System Essay

- Psychological effects that result from confinement characterize the dysfunctional aspect of the correction system. Incarceration makes inmates more prone to abnormal behavior patterns in comparison to the people living on the exterior of these facilities. Craig Haney portrays the understanding that one of the many difficulties that threaten prisoners’ mental well-being is their inability to be self-reliant as well as their innate response to use aggression. Haney states, in the journal of Law & Policy that, “vulnerabilities and inabilities to cope and adapt can come to the fore in the prison setting, and…the behaviour [sic] patterns and attitudes that emerge can take many forms, from deepend...   [tags: Prison, Penology, Recidivism, Corrections]

Better Essays
1449 words (4.1 pages)

Effects of Child Abuse on Psychological Development Essay

- Most people do not know how to cope with abused children. I became interested in this topic because when I was a teenager I had a friend who was abused by her stepfather and I didn’t know how to help her. I would like to know how children’s psychological development is affected, and how we can help these children cope with their misfortune. The most common effect is that maltreated children are, essentially, rejected. These destructive experiences impact on the developing child, increasing the risks for emotional, behavioral, social and physical problems throughout life....   [tags: Effects of Child Abuse on Behavior]

Free Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Essay

- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban is an excellent book. Out of ten stars I would rate this one an eight because it was to short. Once you get into it and finish it. It seems so short, because it is so interesting. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban starts out with a bang. In the beginning Sirius black a Man accused of thirteen murders in one night escapes from Azkaban.( A wizard prison guarded to the tee by dementors, deadly spirits that feast on anything happy....   [tags: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]

Better Essays
505 words (1.4 pages)

Essay about The Psychological Effects of Prisons

- The Psychological Effects of Prisons "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence" -former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger "If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 out of every 20 persons (5.1%) will serve time in a prison during their lifetime. -U.S. Department of Justice One of the largest problems with the prison issue in America today is that it gets little attention....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)