¶ … Stafford Prison Experiment is a study and film based on the study detailing the psychological effects people undergo when becoming a prison guard or prisoner. Stanford University held the conduction of the experiment from August 14-20 in 1971. Psychology professor Philip Zimbardo led a team of researchers for the study and funding came from the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The Marin Corps and the U.S. Navy had interest in investigating the causes of conflict among prisoners and military guards. The study offers class examination on the psychology of imprisonment allowing students taking introductory psychology to learn.
The value of the study in relation to social psychology
In 1971 America, college students began protesting against the government. They had enough of the way the government acted on behalf of the country and decided to take action. The protest seemed anti-authority and pro-peace. It marked a significant period in the United States where the youth took action. History shows (in countries all over the world) people take action...
It showed how, regardless of distinct characteristics, people became their roles. They adopted a new identity along with their individual identity. People in a way then became puppets for others in power and in control.
The relevance of the study in relation to contemporary world issues
Some circumstances exert dominant influences over persons and individuals. These influences cause people to behave in manners and ways they ordinarily would not. There is no way to predict in advance the kind of transformation. Studies like these provide insight into why people do the things they do when they assume these positions within an organization like the military or law enforcement or as criminals.
It also provides a further look into situational power, how it involves uncertainty of role boundaries. "Because situational power is often confounded with sociocultural group status, the cognitive biases of individuals who hold positions of relative situational power also serve to maintain existing social stratification…during interactions between members of stigmatized and nonstigmatized groups members of dominant groups are more often in power" (Richeson & Ambady, 2003, p. 177). Essentially, good people can be seduced, induced, and initiated into evil behavior from peer pressure and group mentality. A good example of this is the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where prison guards treated prisoners horribly.
The value of the study in relation to humanity as a whole
When it comes to the participants of the study, they assumed a level of power…
Stanford Prison Experiment The roles we take on in our everyday lives are dictated by several factors. Whether it's the role of mother, son, student, cashier, accountant, boyfriend, wife, or teacher, the roles that make up our identities are varied and we slip into and out of them without any conscious thought. These roles are adopted by us based on expectations and assumptions prescribed to us by ourselves and others. The
Stanford Prison Experiment Ethical issues are always first and foremost a subject of ambiguous grounds when it comes to experiments that are hinged on human behavior. Whether this is because of the short- and long-term consequences of psychological and physical harm, ethical questions are raised with regards to how much scientific benefit can be accrued from conducting such an experiment. This question remains heavily controversial especially in the Stanford Prison Experiment,
More importantly, they were not guaranteed the right to terminate the experiment at their will. When Prisoner 8621 asked to get out of the experiment he was summarily ridiculed and sent back. It was only when he screamed that Zimbardo was forced to let him quit. Guards were also given far too much leeway in their ability to mentally abuse and thoroughly humiliate the prisoners. There were no checks
Participants in the study did receive a psychological testing battery but in the study it is reported that scores were not known until the close of the experiment. This may mean that the aggressive behavior seen in the experiment was not due to the effect of the situation on the person, but rather the interaction of the person in the situation. Members of the study staff (minus Dr. Zimbardo,
Stanford Prison experiment was to examine the psychological and sociological effects of incarceration. In particular, researchers set out to examine how prisoners reacted to being bereft of power. Ultimately the experiment illustrated not just how prisoners reacted to being powerless, but also how simulated guards reacted to being bestowed with nearly unlimited power over others. The experiment was therefore exploratory in nature. Shuttleworth (2008) claims that the researcher Zimbardo
Among the dozen investigations of the Abu Ghraib abuses, one found that the landmark Stanford study provided a cautionary tale for all military detention operations. In differentiating the comparatively benign environment of the Stanford prison experiment, this report makes obvious that in military detention operations, soldiers work under demanding combat conditions that are far from benign. The insinuation is that those combat conditions might be anticipated to produce even