Essay On Zimbardo's Theory Of The Prison Experiment

1297 Words 6 Pages
Zimbardo decided to conduct the prison experiment because of his interest in social psychology. He was influenced by the milligram experiment that left a great impact on him as a person. According to Zimbardo, he said that he wanted to expand on the Milgram’s experiment and focus less on power authority and obedience. The prison experiment mainly focused on the human behaviors when asked to play a certain role in society. The experiment also resulted in the degeneration and breakdown of human nature, raising more questions about the darkness of the human nature. Zimbardo’s experiment created a lot of controversy among people, but still studied by other another psychologist to this day. Zimbardo’s experiment gave a lot of information about the …show more content…
The power of the environment showed how it can change, and transform normal people’s personality to evil. Zimbardo chose his participants to be normal, intelligent, educated, bright college students in order to make this experiment officiant. He chose those certain college students to reflect the average individuals in society. Twenty-four college students who took part in the experiment were randomly assigned their role as guards or prisoners. Zimbardo also spent a great deal of time with the details of the prison such as the appearance and the cells. the uniforms of the guards, and the entry process for the prisoners on the first day. All of these components were planned by Zimbardo to create the most realistic prison environment. The experiment was done in 1973. “He consulted the “guards” in such a way: “You can create in the prisoner’s boredom, a sense of fear to some degree, you can create a notion of arbitrariness that their life is totally controlled by us, by the system, you, me, and they’ll have no privacy…We’re going to take away their individuality in many various way” (Ramos 2). He wanted to take away their privacy, their individuality and make them feel powerless. Basically, he wanted to do these things to the prisoners to get the most out of them, abuse them indirectly to see what would they do. To make those participants have fear, he had real cops arrest the participants from their homes. They were handcuffed and taken by police …show more content…
Peer pressure and conformity (the tendency to follow others) played a massive role in the experiment. How the guards turned from normal people to adapting other behaviors. On the second day, the guards started to implementing physical punishments and forced the prisoners to do physical exercises. This shows that the guards took the experiment to a different level because even though there were given instructions to not physically hurt the prisoners. They started implying their own rules, Zimbardo had told them as they will be watching the prisoners he will be watching them. Zimbardo being the superintended of the prison, he should have did something when he saw the guards physically hurt the prisoners, but he didn’t he wanted to see how the prisoners would handle the situation. The prisoners stared rebelling, but the guards quickly stepped in and physically hurt them. That was the first step in seeing the guards abuse their powers day by day.” I fell into that role, and in that role, I observed guards brutalizing prisoners – in some cases sadistically… And I did not stop it” (Sparkman 2). Because Zimbardo didn’t stop the guards the first time. They thought it was up to them to decide how far they were going to take it. That lead to the guards to think that if no one told them they shouldn’t be doing this, or if no one was stopping them. This showed how people respond to a cruel environment without

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