Essay on Corruption Of Power : The Stanford Prison Experiment

1218 Words Dec 6th, 2016 5 Pages
Corruption of Power: The Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971
Corruption of power is known to be inevitable. This tendency can be seen in those like the dictator Suharto, a former President of Indonesia, who allegedly stole $35 billion (Greenlees, 2008). Or, the exploitation of Arnoldo Aleman, previous president of Nicaragua, who was known for his outrageous spending and vast amount of wealth, who was imprisoned and fined $10 million because of the supposed millions he stole (Dellios, 2002). Why is it that these alike world leaders are convicted of exploitation? Could these repeated acts of extortion and fraud be caused by the high honor that was stowed up them? Piloted in 1971 by Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford Prison Experiment studied the psychological reasoning behind behaviors shown of prisoners and guards by conducting a role-playing exercise that mirrored penitentiary life. The results of the experiment are reflected by infamous tyrannical and power-corrupted leaders in history (Shuttleworth).
Zimbardo, a psychology professor at Stanford University, had always wondered why powerful leaders throughout history were often known to be corrupt. In the hopes to find the answer, he produced the idea of an experiment where subjects would play the parts of prison guards and prisoners, hopefully emulating powerful societal roles and the behavior that becomes of it on both ends. As Zimbardo and his team built a set that imitated a jail house in the Psychology Department basement of…

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