24 male students were randomly assigned to be prisoners or guards. Prisoners were arrested at home and taken to the makeshift prison (in the basement on Stanford university)
The prisoners were strip searched and deloused. They had to wear a uniform that barely covered the body, a stocking cap and an ankle chain. Prisoners were only allowed to refer to each other by number. Guards were allowed to make up prison rules. Unknown to participants, prison was bugged with 24/7 monitoring.
On Day 3 the guards became more brutal, refusing to let prisoners leave cells. One prisoner showed extreme signs of anxiety but wasn't allowed to leave till day 4.
The End of the experiment
University of Stanford
On Day 5 the guards made prisoners clean toilets with their bare hands. At night when guards thought prisoners weren't looking they sexually humiliated them.
Pls let me stop doing this!
By Day 6 the guards power over the prisoners was almost total and they obeyed without question. Visiting Postgraduate Christina visited also on day 6 and was shocked and terrified at what she saw and objected strongly to the researcher to stop the study.
After Day 6 after being convinced by Christina the researchers agreed to stop the study. Zimbardo created this prison situation to test the psychological effect of becoming a prisoner or guard. The results of this were that both groups conformed to their social roles which involved an imbalance of power and was nothing to do with their personality.