Reicher And Haslam's Evaluate Outweigh The Weaknesses Of The BBC Prison Experiment

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Critical evaluation of “Rethinking the psychology of tyranny: The BBC prison study”
This essay will try to illustrate what are the strengths and the weaknesses of Reicher and Haslam’s experiment and whether the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. Indeed, both researchers came together to understand how individuals can accept, in a group environment, behaviours that are tyrannical whether the individual is the one who inflicts it or undergoes it (Reicher & Haslam, 2006). This experiment, base its research on Zimbardo’s prison experiment. However, it is not a replicate of The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) for different matters. Firstly, Reicher and Haslam aim at creating an experiment that is ethical, with reliable data and that extends the
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Indeed, Reicher and Haslam, contextualise their study starting with wondering how individuals, show behaviours that would lead to behaviours such as deindividuation (Reicher & Haslam, 2006). In fact one of their strengths is their introduction, they raise major questions and still provide reasons for why they’ve chose to conduct this study. They argue two key points throughout their study: first, they look at the influence of being in a group-the effects and affects; second, that even if Zimbardo’s SPE had an important impact in social psychology, it had numerous flaws that they’ve tried not to …show more content…
Indeed, it has been questioned if an experiment like Zimbardo’s could have been replicated. Zimbardo explained in his commentary that it was unethical to reproduce the same study, because of his findings and of the consequences of it (Zimbardo, 2006). However, to be able to produce such a study, strict guidelines were followed. The study was in fact monitored by an independent ethics panel, with clinical psychologists and so on. No physical violence or elements that would lead to deindividuation were tolerated. The BBC itself gave its own guidelines. For instance, by creating a Guard Handbook, the production team expected the behaviours to be controlled in a way that weren’t harmful or anything of such (McDermott, Öpik, Smith, Taylor & Wills, 2002). It is clear that with rules of that sort, the ethicality of the Reicher and Haslam study was an advantage. However, it makes the findings questionable as whether the behaviours observed weren’t due to the fact that the individuals had to be aware of them, at all times. Therefore, being a strength to a certain extent, it could appear that by creating limitations, it could in some way become a

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