The Causes And Effects Of The Stanford Prison Experiment

885 Words 4 Pages
The Stanford Prison Experiment Does giving one person more power than another really change the way that they will react in a certain situation? Do certain circumstances cause a different reaction in different people? That was the question for the Stanford Prison Experiment performed by Phil Zimbardo in 1971. In an attempt to show what life was like to be in prison, the inmates and guards of Stanford County Jail, were placed in an almost inhumane setting. The tyranny of the men in charge, along with the abuse of the inmates, goes to show how people that are placed in an environment and told to play roles that they are not necessarily familiar with, can go wrong. The Stanford Prison Experiment, is still to this day questioned and studied in …show more content…
Through this passage, I will show you what happened in the six days that the experiment took place, and the effects it had on all of the people involved. In august of 1971, the Stanford County Jail was opened to its volunteer prisoners and guards. This was not just your average prison. It was actually a carefully constructed room inside the basement of the Stanford University Psychology building. In order to obtain candidates for the experiment, an advertisement was placed in the newspaper for anyone who wanted to participate in the study of how life was in prison. Seventy-five men were interviewed for the roles, but of those seventy-five, only twenty-four were chosen. They were selected at random to take and perform the roles of either prison guards or inmates. The experiment was meant to last two weeks’ time, but at the end of just six days, it was apparent that it should come to a close. Phil Zimbardo, the conductor of this experiment, was a teacher of psychology at the university. It is said that he was performing this study to understand how one will conform given certain situations we …show more content…
They wore a uniform that would give anyone the impression that it was not a good idea to cause trouble. Once the experiment began, they were given very little instruction as to what they should be doing, or how they should react towards the inmates. Their only rule was that there was to be no physical punishment. At first, everything was calm, almost too calm. Too calm in fact that the head of the project, Phil Zimbardo, was beginning to become frustrated with the calmed nature of the situation. After the first twenty-four hours, however, things started to change. The guards began to take on a sense of tyranny. Being in the position that they could basically do whatever they wanted, they did just so (Anthis, par 1-6). I believe that being in a situation where people are given a certain amount of power, and no guidelines to go by, things like abuse, cruel punishment, and even sometimes death will occur. There are people every day that abuse their power, and don’t always necessarily use it for the good of the people that are around them. Everyone has a glimmer of selfishness, but to treat someone as less than how you would want to be in that situation is not fair. For the guards to treat the prisoners as they had, is very unethical for the position that they are in and are entrusted with. If a doctor was to come to a patient with bad news,

Related Documents