The Stanford Prison Experiment By George Zimbardo

Great Essays
You just got accepted to your dream college and have enthusiastically spent all week packing all your articles, and now you are driving hours on end to your new residence, a college dorm in Stanford, California, on the Stanford University campus. You are so thrilled, but also nervous, to start a new adventure here in California. It’s your first day and you are eager to go to your classes and become that college student you’ve pictured for what seems like forever. While walking through the campus a newspaper on the ground catches your eye. You pick it up with curiosity and notice an ad that seemed to shout at you with the big bold letters, “MALE STUDENTS NEEDED: to participate in a psychological study of prison life. $15 per day 1-2 weeks, beginning …show more content…
How do you think prison affects the guards and prisoners? Does it have more effect on the prisoners, guards, or both equally? Second, Zimbardo had a plan for his experiment, “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” He chose to construct the environment for the study in the basement of the Psychology Department at Stanford University. Zimbardo and his colleagues built some walls and put some doors up to recreate a prison-like setting. They had to “board up each end of the corridor (“The Story”). They also put cell-like bars in the doors so it really had that prison feel. Okay, the scene is prepared, but they still need volunteers to play out the roles of the guards and prisoners. Third, he needed participants to play the roles of the prisoners and guards. This part is essential because there is no experiment if there is no people. The way they went about finding volunteers is using the newspaper as noted in the beginning. Perusing college males, they placed an ad for a part-time job that will only last one to two weeks and will get paid $15 dollars per day. About 72 people applied and they were all from the United States and Canada and they all happen to be in the Stanford. The selection process was very precise, because he needed mentally stable participants so that all the volunteers are all on the same level and equal. Next, he would assign each participant what role they will be executing in this study. What Zimbardo and his peers did was a random draw between all the partakers to see whom would be the prisoners and whom would be the guards. Roles were now assigned and it is time to

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    When the guards are allowed an ounce of power they cannot control their actions and behaviors, it occurs in every occupation. Dr. Zimbardo roll was to act as the prison warden, but instead of him handling situations accordingly he overlooked the abusive behavior of the guards because they were receiving the reaction of conformity from the…

    • 921 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Prisons were designed to work as an avenue where criminals can carry out their rehabilitation process away from law-abiding citizens. To act as a guide in that process, wardens and guards were introduced. In theory, prisoners and guards should have no conflict. However, each of their respective work descriptions are encumbered by certain stereotypical aspects that portray them as being either inherently good or bad. In 1971, Stanford University created a simulation of prison life.…

    • 1409 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Foucault is saying that the aim of prison architecture is to produce prisoners that obey the rules, follow the norm, and as a result, are able to integrate into a normal society. We saw this to be true because by increasing the visibility of prisoners and increasing the invisibility of prison guards, we are allowing prison guards to expand their power over prisoners who fear the blind eye. Further, there is a parallel between normalized society outside of prison and society in prison that achieves to normalize a prisoner. Let’s think of a prison guard. In prison, their job is to monitor and maintain order to prevent riots and violence.…

    • 1476 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is where you use a precise method for measuring a population. The experiment itself is a precise method because Zimbardo turned the basement of the university into an experiment facility to house the boys in the “prison”. This was only to see if negative behavior of the guards affects the person mentally; this is something that shouldn’t be done without a different set of guide lines. One has to first think about the variables that are going to be affected so that this experiment is only used once. The specifics of the Stanford Prison experiment had changed from boys just playing part in a test, to actually being believed that they were trapped in there.…

    • 903 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Stanford Prison Experiment In 1971, Philip Zimbardo, funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment to pursue an enhanced comprehension of the tension and conflict between military prisoners and their guards (“Stanford Prison Experiment,” 2015). In this infamous psychology experiment, participants were arbitrarily allocated to the role of prisoner or guard: prisoners stayed in the cells of a Stanford University basement while the guards worked eight-hour shifts. The guards developed authoritarian and draconian manners; the prisoners were cruelly treated and pitted against each other. This experiment raises questions concerning reality, identity, and ethics. Reality in a Prison Setting The basement of…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This was because they wanted to stay in this role of being superior and acting differently than they do outside the experiment. They were told the first day of the experiment that it was “their responsibility to run the prison, and they could do so in any way they wished” and they did just that. Once the study started the first day was for the most part uneventful. Each participants was feeling out how they should and could act. But on the second day things became more interesting.…

    • 1359 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Officers are exposed to the latest in correctional technology, while vendors showcase their products and receive input from end users” (Quinn 180). During the mock riot, they are designated several technologies which are beneficial to the training. They must carry protection, for example, a stab and slash resistant body armor in case of a prisoner becomes dangerous or has some type of weapon that can be harmful. This does give a lot of experience to a real life scenario, everyone would be prepared. But in the Stanford Experiment, there are differences but also similarities to this showcase.…

    • 1570 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Christina Maslach was the whistleblower at the Stanford Prison Experiment when she came to visit the experiment and question Zimbardo on how he could let something like this happen. She is quoted as saying, “The clearest influence the study had on me was that it raised some really serious questions about how people cope with extremely emotional, difficult situations, especially when it's part of their job—when they have to manage people or take care of them or rehabilitate them.” These two articles are the reasons why that the incident came to the public and how the experiment came to an…

    • 1797 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Inside this tower, you can see all the inmates, but from the outside nothing was visible to the inmate’s eyes. This system gave the impression that the prisoners were being individually watched at all times, which caused the prisoners to follow the rule to avoid punishment. Foucault believes that the power of society that we live in today is the same as the panopticons. He thinks that the institutions say what is right and wrong about our actions. We live and are raised behind these institutional rules on how to behave, and we are also taught to follow these rules at such a young age, because we think it’s normal.…

    • 1682 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Report on the Stanford Prison Experiment for PSYC 1111 The Office of Naval Research sponsored a study at Stanford University to "develop a better understanding of the basic psychological mechanisms underlying human aggression" and to identify which conditions can lead to aggression when men are living in close quarters for a long period of time (Haney, C., Banks, W.C. & Zimbardo, P.G. (1973)). This experiment took form within a model prison created in the basement at Stanford University to discover the variables found in prisons that can lead to aggression in people, i.e. guards and prisoners. The hypothesis explored was that ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners’ would react in different ways and their behavior and state of being would differ from each…

    • 963 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays