Essay Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics : Heads Or Tails?

1007 Words Dec 7th, 2015 5 Pages
Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics
Heads or tails?
The simple gesture of flipping a coin was the dividing line that determined ones fate.
Prisoner or guard.
On August 17, 1971, (Konnikova, 2015) was the morning that 24 Stanford student volunteers (Shermer, 2015) will remember for the rest of their lives. Social psychologist Phillip G. Zimbardo conducted an experiment called The Stanford Prison Experiment. This experiment took place in the basement of the psychology building located at Stanford University. It was transformed into a miniature prison where the identities of Student volunteers were stripped to pieces and replaced with the title of Prisoner, or Guard. The hunt to find the student volunteers was not a challenge at all. The researchers put an ad in a local newspaper offering $15 a day. A total of 75 people were willing to do the experiment, but only 24 were chosen after given an interview. They were chosen by who seemed to be the most mentally stable (Shuttleworth, 2008). All volunteers chosen to be in the experiment didn’t have a choice to be a prisoner or a guard. The results were determined by a flip of a coin. Coincidently in the new movie Stanford Prison Experiment released in 2015, the prison guards were informed that they were chosen to be prison guards because of their remarkable interview. That’s the Hollywood version. In reality all were chosen randomly with a coin flip. There were specific reasoning’s for what Dr. Zimbardo was doing and never was…

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