Deep beneath the Psycology Center of Stanford University, a tiny prison was created. Eighteen boys were meticulusly selected from a large group of volenteers. It is important to note that before the experiment commenced, there was no discernable difference between these eighteen boys. They were all mentally stable. By way of random selection, they were split in half and assigned to play the roles of either guards or prisoners.
The experiment was designed …show more content…
Clearly, the treatment that these boys (particularly the prisoners) were subjected to was inhumane. The fact is, however, that this experiment was meant to emulate real prisons as closely as possible. That means that real people are being subjected to similar inhumanity on a daily basis. Now, these people have committed crimes, some worse than others, but they are still people. This experiment was neccessary to bring to light the barbarity of prison conditions . It showed that this barbarity could have disturbing and inintended consequences. It also revealed much about human identity and nature. This information could not have been obtained any other way, and it can be used to improve and protect the human condition.
How far are we willing to go to pursue the greater good? Everyone knows that this question carries dark implications. As we look ahead, however, it is an important question to consider. The boys who participated in Zimbardo 's Prison Experiment did not suffer any lasting affects. Had the experiment not been discontinued, however, who knows what might have occurred. When conducting psycological experiments, it is important to protect the subjects from lasting harm. If we loose sight of that goal, we loose more of our humanity than research findings could ever provide us