Essay about innate human violence

671 Words 3 Pages
     
     Phillip Zimbardo, Solomon Asch, Stanley Milgram, and Howard Zinn were/are all gifted psychologists that strived to understand the simple complexities of conformity within an individual’s specific societal structure. Within their own specific areas of psychology, every single one of them came to one simple conclusion that allowed each of them to become the quality of psychologist that they are today, and that is the understanding that the power of the situation can be stronger than the individual. So much so, that the events which occurred in the Abu Gharib prison, were just a matter of time.
     Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, world renowned psychologist,
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In 1955 Dr. Asch began a conformity study in which students were asked a simple question pertaining to their perception of the distance of a line in comparison to another line in front of them. After the subject’s answer was given, the proctor, or group taking the study, would suggest an answer that was either incorrect, or different than the one suggested by the participant. Interestingly enough, one-third of the time the participant would yield to the answer given by the majority, or the proctor and many times, the answer given would be the wrong one. What did this prove? Very simply that an individual is more likely to yield to the majority than to be considered an outcast. With social conformity, comes a sense that what you are doing is the right thing not because you know that it’s right, but because if you were to go against the majority one would be considered a social outcast.
     Both Zimbardo and Asch conducted studies in which participants were more or less unaffected by the answers, or situations pertaining to their specific experiment. In Zimbardo’s study, prisoners were relatively physically un-abused. In Asch’s study, participants who gave an incorrect answer or an answer not conforming to the majorities were unpunished. Cue: Dr. Stanley Milgram.
Psychologist at Yale University and

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