Explain the Impact of the Stanford Prison Experiment on Psychology and Behaviour Essay

The Stanford prison experiment. led by professor Philip Zimbardo. was aimed at seeing the consequence on people on going captives or prison guards. The thought was to see what happens to people when they are put in comparatively ‘evil’ topographic points. Make the people themselves become evil or is there no net consequence? The consequences indicated that in fact people adapt to their function exceptionally good. It was observed that the prison guards became excessively oppressive to the degree of sadism.

In effect the captives were seen to be under terrible emphasis to the extent that they became brainsick or depressed. 24 voluntaries were selected that had no psychological jobs. wellness issues or any past offense histories. They were brought to a mock prison set up in the cellar of the Stanford university’s psychological science constructing where they were indiscriminately assigned to be captives or guards. 3 captives each were given suites that they had to populate in for 24 hours of the twenty-four hours and the guards were given 8 hr displacements to work in.

The survey was observed upon utilizing cameras and mikes. They study was supposed to last for 14 yearss but had to be halted after 6 yearss due to extreme unethical patterns in the prison. The Stanford prison experiment showed us that human existences alter to the state of affairs they are put in. The guards won entire control over the captives who blindly followed orders. All of this in merely 5 yearss of experimental conditions. Zimbardo said that the captives had internalised their functions and therefore continued to take part in the experiment on their ain will.

One illustration of this is when they introduced themselves to the priest with their consecutive figure instead than their existent name. Another illustration would be of the prison adviser who took on the function of an bossy caput of the parole board. After the experiment was over he was said to be disgusted at the individual he had become. In kernel there were two groups created among the voluntaries. hence. harmonizing to societal individuality theory. people in the in-group would exhibit in-group favoritism and a sense of favoritism of the out-group.

This can explicate the unanimity between the guards themselves and their certain disfavor towards the inmates. To farther construct on this. the thought of the prison guards being a group may arouse the feeling of namelessness. which would let the guards to be more free and aggressive as they could agitate off duty for their actions. This is called deindividuation theory. It may be a cause of the force occurred on the captives by the guards as there is a diffusion of duty. The Self-fulfilling prognostication provinces that when a individual is given a label we frequently live up to that outlook.

In the same manner. as the voluntaries were given labels. they tried to populate up to that outlook and therefore acted in the manner they thought they should. Furthermore it can be said that the voluntaries had set stereotypes on the thought of a prison guard and captive. It can be assumed that these stereotypes illustrated the prison guards to be strong and important. It could besides be an illusional correlativity made by them through watching movies or through media ( which means that they attribute the behavior of the prison guards to their temperament instead than state of affairs: FAE ) .

The theory of cognitive disagreement can besides be used to understand why the captives and guards acted this manner. They had to change their mentality ( attitudes ) to fit with their behaviors so that there was no tenseness in their ego individuality. The state of affairs put the captives in certain set functions that they tried to populate up to and therefore they changed their behavior. This experiment along with Milligram’s daze experiment demonstrates the cardinal ascription mistake which says that there is a overestimate of dispositional factors and under-estimation of situational factors when we attribute.

It changed the manner we looked at psychological science in a socio-cultural facet. This experiment has helped us understand how good people do bad things such as the anguish of Iraqi captives in the Abu Gharib prison. which was a existent life illustration of the same consequences obtained by Zimabardo. It was besides used to look into affairs such as prison public violences and maltreatment of juveniles in many prisons. Young grownups are besides known to be power hungry. Their lecherousness for power might hold changed the manner they would hold usually behaved. The captives were made powerless and therefore started to act in such a manner.

They became down. helpless and unstable. Thus it can be said that power besides affected their behavior. In relation to gender I believe that there would non hold been much difference in the experiment as people. male or female. be given to hold similar conventional processing when it comes to societal perceptual experiences of a certain group or persons. If conducted with lone females it is more likely that there would hold been lesser force as it has been researched that testosterone. which is much more predominating in males. is a cause of sexual rousing and aggression.

Culture would non impact the behavior as everybody needs some power in their life and if power is stolen from us we tend to go unstable. Last. it can be argued that all the voluntaries of the experiment were college pupils. These pupils are more likely to be aggressive. as they would hold higher testosterone degrees compared to older guards in regular prisons. The voluntaries were largely white males who were on norm. financially stable. which when compared to regular captives would non compare good as people in prisons are normally financially unstable.

It goes without stating that this experiment was highly unethical. It did harmed the voluntaries both physically and mentally as they were put under terrible emphasis every bit good as physical anguish. Their consent signifiers were non complete as it id non affect the inside informations of the experiment. The voluntaries did non cognize what they were acquiring themselves into. for illustration strip searched which is a misdemeanor itself. They were besides. without anterior cognition. arrested.

Zimbardo himself became the super-intendant and did non stay by his function as a psychologist. which should hold been the instance to hold an indifferent survey. The experiment had no controls and therefore is hence badly criticised. Therefore the cogency and moralss of this experiment. associating to its method are questioned. In decision. the experiment was a way breakage exercising that opened our eyes to demo us the exposure of our race in footings of conformance and how we adapt to our state of affairss particularly when it comes to the battle for power.


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out