Zimbardo Case Study

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1. What does this video tell us about the correctional system? Do you think this was an accurate portrayal of what really happens when people are incarcerated? Why or why not? Firstly, a correctional system is a network of agencies that manage to protect society from dangerous individuals, through actions such as imprisonment and probation.(The Law Dictionary).Watching the details behind Zimbardo’s experiment, there are shocking and disturbing similarities between the experience of the participants and isolated incidents that do occur within in our correctional institutions. In our correctional system, there is usually a system of hierarchy, with prisoners being on the bottom of that hierarchy. Individuals who are in a higher position, …show more content…
Why do you think they took on the roles they did? To prepare the guards for their roles, the participants assigned to be guards were given standard police uniforms, aviator sunglasses and billy-clubs to use; the ‘guards’ were also provided chains if needed. Zimbardo gave the participants rules for them to follow: 1.) the guards could create feelings of boredom, frustration towards the prisoners; 2.) Could not physically hit the prisoners. At the beginning of the experiment, there really were not hostile with the ‘prisoners’ in the first day. However, as the week progressed, the guards became more aggressive towards the prisoners, making them perform humiliating tasks, eventually punishing the inmates for no reason. When the prisoners rebelled, the guards stripped them naked and removed their beds. When there was visitation from the prisoner’s parents, the prisoners were first given a hot meal and extra dessert. However, the visitation were limited to 10 minutes and the parents did not see their children often. Even though the visitation was clearly unfair, the guards retained order of the ‘prison’ due to the prisoners’ obedience. However, another rebellion occurred after the parents left, which was caused by prisoner 819. Because of the prisoner’s actions, the guards put him in solitary confinement and forced the other prisoners to tell him that because of him, they were punished. One disturbing example of a ‘guard’ participant taking …show more content…
Firstly, the physical and psychological harm towards the participants were severe. For one of the participants labeled 819, he was ostracized by the officers for starting the ‘rebellion’ against them and was name called by his fellow ‘prisoners’ (they were forced by the officers) for bringing punishment to them. The constant abuse and the hostile environment eventually caused the participant to have a nervous breakdown, which led him to leave the experiment early. There were also participants that had similar breakdowns after being released from the experiment. Today, the APA (American Psychological Association) now have ethical principles that researchers and psychologists must follow: beneficence, non-maleficence, respect of autonomy, fairness, truthfulness and justice. Beneficence is that the experiment should be good for the participant’s benefit; non maleficence is that the participants will not be harmed in any way during the experiment; truthfulness is that the experimenter will be truthful regarding the details of the experiment to the participants. Respect of autonomy is that the participants have the right at any time to leave the experiment if they are uncomfortable; fairness is that there must be equal opportunity for all participants for the experiment; justice is for those who

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