Prejudice and discrimination can be traced all throughout the history of mankind. It has played an important role in many significant historical events, ranging from World War II to the abolishment of slavery and the women’s suffrage movement in North America. This issue has gained much attention in the world of social sciences, and scientists from all branches (of social science) have conducted numerous studies to deepen their understanding of it.
Philip Zimbardo is a world-renown social psychologist who has made many significant contributions to his field, as well as with the issue of prejudice and discrimination. He was born on March 23, 1933 in New York City to Sicilian parents. He was the first of his family to attend college, and he did so at Brooklyn College where he earned his B.A. in 1954, triple majoring in psychology, sociology and anthropology (Fails). He then continued to Yale University, where he earned his M.A. in 1955, and his Ph.D. in 1954, both in psychology. Zimbardo taught briefly at Yale before becoming a psychology professor at New Your University, where he taught until 1967. He then moved on to Columbia University for a year, before becoming a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University in 1968. In 2003, he retired, but returned in 2007 to give his last lecture (Cherry).
Without a doubt, Philip Zimbardo is best known for his infamous “Stanford Prison Experiment”, conducted in 1971. In this experiment, he hired college students to act as either guards or prisoners in a mock prison setting. He and his team chose twenty-four normal and healthy (both physically and psychologically) males to participate, and randomly assigned them the roles of either a guard or a prisoner; there were sixteen guards and nine prisoners. The subjects were all similar to each other in many ways, generally representing middle-class, educated youth. This guaranteed that the prisoners and the guards were one and alike. In just a few days,...
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