The Influence Of The Stanford Prison Experiment

Superior Essays
Exactly how much influence does an environment and situation have on one’s behavior? Determined to find answers to this question, Philip Zimbardo, a psychology professor, conducted an experiment with hopes to expand on Stanley Milgram’s discovery that the majority of good people will act outside of their moral compasses if the circumstance, specifically one with an authoritative figure, calls for it. Zimbardo’s infamous Stanford Prison Experiment went like this: Zimbardo and his team set out to hire, specifically, mentally stable and strong male college students for two weeks and gave them a role of either a prison guard or a prisoner. They were then put in a realistic prison environment and the master minds behind the operation observed how …show more content…
A male, broke college student is getting ready for summer break, so a job is well in his interest. He reads on the job section in the newspaper something like, “Male college students needed for psychological prison experiment. Wage is $15/day for 2 weeks. Apply now.” Everything goes well and he gets called in for an interview. The employers investigate the student’s past, temperance, health, and after a couple of tests, they conclude that he is mentally stable, physically in good shape and has no past experiences that are concerning. They understand him to be a decent young man with good morals. He is informed that he will be given a role at random of either a guard or prisoner and will be expected to play out that character for as long as the experiment takes (up to two weeks). He has a preference as to who he wants to act as for the study but decides that the money is worth whichever role he is …show more content…
Twenty-four strong, healthy and mentally stable Stanford University male college students became the finalists out of seventy-five volunteers for the prison experiment. Hoping to make this experiment as realistic as possible, Zimbardo transformed the psychology department’s basement into a prison, had the prisoners arrested at their house by a real officer, taken through the whole process of confinement like a real criminal, and provided military resembled uniforms for the prison guards (Zimbardo- Stanford Prison Experiment). Upon arrival to the mock prison, the prisoners were stripped down, got all of their belongings taken away from them and given a uniform with a number stitched onto it that would become their sense of identity for the next several days. With this kind of treatment, it was certain that the personalities of the experimentally imprisoned students would be

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