Stanford Prison Experiment

Stanford Prison Experiment

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  • Dr. Zimbardo created the Stanford Prison experiment and designed it so disorientation and individuation would take place. 24 participants were taken to the basement of the Jordan Hall. There, 12 prisoners and 12 guards were participating with some substitutes for both sides. 
  • It was a social psychological experiment that would help investigate the psychological effects of power using prisoners and guards. 
  • It was noted that the participants quickly embraced their assigned roles.
  • Prison guards would use methods that would make the prisoners seem week and out of place. They were called by letters and numbers. They treated them like animals by taking their beds and pillows if they misbehave. 
  • Prisoners wore uncomfortable clothing. They wore chains around their ankles. It got to a point where the prisoners got tired of being treated they way they were. They resisted and rebelled by blocking the entrance to their cells. Many failed and were defeated by the guards. They were treated like they got stripped of their identity and self being. 
  • The book has really highlighted how good people can become evil and dangerous. The guards were known to be the highest in the heirarchy. The prisoners accepted their roles as less important humans. Zimbardo terminated the experiment after it escalated to an alarming rate and received criticism from his partner. 
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