By Saul McLeodupdated Purpose of the Study Zimbardo and his colleagues were interested in finding out whether the brutality reported among guards in American prisons was due to the sadistic personalities of the guards i. For example, prisoner and guards may have personalities which make conflict inevitable, with prisoners lacking respect for law and order and guards being domineering and aggressive. Alternatively, prisoners and guards may behave in a hostile manner due to the rigid power structure of the social environment in prisons. Zimbardo predicted the situation made people act the way they do rather than their disposition personality.
Zimbardo's goals[ edit ] The archived official website of the Stanford Prison Experiment describes the experiment goal as follows: We wanted to see what the psychological effects were of becoming a prisoner or prison guard.
To do this, we decided to set up a simulated prison and then carefully note the effects of this institution on the behavior of all those within its walls. Zimbardo's primary reason for conducting the experiment was to focus on the power of roles, rules, symbols, group identity and situational validation of behavior that generally would repulse ordinary individuals.
The team selected the 24 applicants whose test results predicted they would be the most psychologically stable and healthy. The prison had two fabricated walls, one at the entrance, and one at the cell wall to block observation.
They were given rest and relaxation areas, and other comforts. Twelve of the 24 participants were assigned the role of prisoner 9 plus 3 potential substituteswhile the other 12 were assigned the role of guard also 9 plus 3 potential substitutes.
Zimbardo took on the role of the superintendent and an undergraduate research assistant took on the role of the warden. Zimbardo designed the experiment in order to induce disorientationdepersonalizationand deindividuation in the participants.
The researchers held an orientation session for the guards the day before the experiment, during which guards were instructed not to harm the prisoners physically or withhold food or drink. In the footage of the study, Zimbardo can be seen talking to the guards: We're going to take away their individuality in various ways.
In general what all this leads to is a sense of powerlessness. That is, in this situation we'll have all the power and they'll have none.
Prisoners wore uncomfortable, ill-fitting smocks and stocking caps, as well as a chain around one ankle. Guards were instructed to call prisoners by their assigned numbers, sewn on their uniforms, instead of by name. The prisoners were "arrested" at their homes and "charged" with armed robbery.
The local Palo Alto police department assisted Zimbardo with the arrests and conducted full booking procedures on the prisoners, which included fingerprinting and taking mug shots.
The prisoners were transported to the mock prison from the police station, where they were strip searched and given their new identities.
The small mock prison cells were set up to hold three prisoners each. There was a small corridor for the prison yard, a closet for solitary confinement, and a bigger room across from the prisoners for the guards and warden. The prisoners were to stay in their cells and the yard all day and night until the end of the study.
The guards worked in teams of three for eight-hour shifts.
The guards were not required to stay on site after their shift. Guards had differing responses to their new roles. Dave Eshelmandescribed by Stanford Magazine as "the most abusive guard" felt his aggressive behavior was helping experimenters to get what they wanted.
John Mark, who had joined the experiment hoping to be selected as a prisoner, instead recalls "At that time of my life, I was getting high, all day every day I brought joints with me, and every day I wanted to give them to the prisoners.In , psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues set out to create an experiment that looked at the impact of becoming a prisoner or prison guard.
Known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, the study went on to become one of the best-known in psychology's history. Jul 17, · Watch video · The science behind the experiment was kind of crappy, but I guess back then, psychologists were a bit on the rough side and not too cautious with experimental parameters, etc.
Anyways, if you want the thrill and the tense, "Das Experiment" is what you should be looking for. This movie was unparalleled/10(30K).
The Stanford Prison Experiment was massively influential. We just learned it was a fraud. The most famous psychological studies are often wrong, fraudulent, or outdated.
Textbooks need to catch up. The Stanford Prison Experiment is one of the most famous experiments in psychology's history. Learn more about the experiment and the results.
Jul 17, · Watch video · Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez. With Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Billy Crudup, Olivia Thirlby. In , twenty-four male students are selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building/10(K).
A QUIET SUNDAY MORNING On a quiet Sunday morning in August, a Palo Alto, California, police car swept through the town picking up college students as part of a mass arrest for violation of Penal Codes , Armed Robbery, and Burglary, a PC.