Social Influences In Philip Zimbardo's Prison Experiment

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Social influences can have many different effects on people depending on what situation they are in as found in Stanley Milgram’s Obedience study. In Phillip Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment, he used the power that police and prison guards gain while in control to show that having a figure giving directions will drastically change the way that someone will act in accordance or defiance with the authority figure’s orders and how much people will fall into their roles in their situation. At Abu Ghraib, US soldiers were exploited for using awful techniques of torture of Iraqi people. Many people have drawn similarities between the two. I believe that the similarities outweigh the differences between the two events and that Zimbardo’s experiment was …show more content…
This coincides with how the guards at Phillip Zimbardo’s prison felt as well. One soldier, Sergeant Ivan Frederick, from Abu Ghraib was quoted as saying, “I questioned some of the things that I saw . . . such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell--and the answer I got was, "This is how military intelligence (MI) wants it done." When the leader of the “prison” guards at Stanford heard about Abu Ghraib, he said, “When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, my first reaction was, this is so familiar to me. I knew exactly what was going on. When you have little or no supervision as to what you’re doing, and no one steps in and says, ‘Hey, you can’t do this’—things just keep escalating. You think, how can we top what we did yesterday? How do we do something even more outrageous? I felt a deep sense of familiarity with that whole situation.” Both situations had authority figures having alternative motives that wanted a certain outcome. In Abu Ghraib, the superiors wanted information regarding the war and in the Prison Experiment, Zimbardo wanted to prove his theory so he told the guards to try to create an atmosphere that the prisoners felt powerless. The atmosphere was also the same, both of the prisons were makeshift and did not have …show more content…
The article was written by Seymour Hersh and came out a few days after the 60 Minutes documentary came out about the incident. In his article, Hersh speaks out about the events with evidence from the Taguba report. In Taguba’s report, he documented that this was an inhumane way to treat any prisoner. In firsthand accounts of the study, Zimbardo and other participants give their take on the study and how it went wrong and where it was eye-opening. Christina Maslach was the whistleblower at the Stanford Prison Experiment when she came to visit the experiment and question Zimbardo on how he could let something like this happen. She is quoted as saying, “The clearest influence the study had on me was that it raised some really serious questions about how people cope with extremely emotional, difficult situations, especially when it's part of their job—when they have to manage people or take care of them or rehabilitate them.” These two articles are the reasons why that the incident came to the public and how the experiment came to an

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