Stanford Prison Experiment Essays

Stanford Prison Experiment Essays-53
Further, the study’s effect on participants caused ethical standards for research to change significantly.

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Situational characteristics affected participants’ behaviour, rather than personal characteristics (Zimbardo et al., 1999; Zimbardo, 2007; Dean, 2007). (ed.), Obedience to authority: Current perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Though all students signed a consent form prior to participation and the study was cleared by relevant committees at Stanford, Office of Naval Research and the American Psychological Association (Zimbardo et al., 1999), the study is criticised as being unethical and, subsequently, caused a widespread revision in ethical standards (Carnahan & Mc Farland, 2007). (2007) Our dark hearts: The Stanford prison experiment, [Online], Available: May 2012]. (2011) Stanford prison experiment continues to shock, [Online], Available: [].

As Phillip Zimbardo gave the guards their whistles and billy clubs they drastically changed without even realizing it.

In order to further understand the Stanford Prison experiment I learned how the experiment was conducted, thought about the ethical quality of this experiment, and why I think it panned out how it did.

It resulted in mental breakdowns, abusive and sadistic behaviour among prison guards and was terminated well ahead of schedule.

A study that was prior approved by ethical bodies, it has been criticised for unethical and unscientific methods – leading the way for significant changes in ethical standards of for psychological research.Given military like uniforms, whistles, and billy clubs the guards looked almost as if they worked in a real prison.As for the prisoners, real police surprised them at their homes and arrested them outside where others could see as if they were really criminals. ...n had over everyone involved has been shown when participants were interviewed months later, and were all extremely surprised about the way they acted during the experiment.Nearly 50% of prisoners were released ahead of schedule due to extreme emotional disturbance (Zimbardo, 1999).Interestingly, personality did not predict/distinguish between levels of abusiveness among guards, as did situational characteristics (Dean, 2007; Zimbardo, 2007). When put into the position of complete authority over others people will show their true colors.I think that most people would like to think that they would be fair, ethical superiors.Participants became entirely involved in their ‘new life roles’ – suffering mental breakdowns and guards becoming so abusive and sadistic that the study was terminated within six days, rather than two weeks (Zimbardo et al., 1999). “…[A] classic demonstration of the power of situations and systems to overwhelm good intentions of participants and transform ordinary, normal young men into sadistic guards or for those playing prisoners to have emotional breakdowns.” – Prof Zimbardo (Leithead, 2011). (n.d.) The psychology of power and evil: All power to the person? Prison guards were briefed regarding preservation of law and order, avoiding corporal violence and preventing prisoners from escaping etc.Prisoners were arrested in their home – handcuffed, searched and driven away by police – and charged with burglary or armed robbery (Leithead, 2011).


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