Sarah M. Crandall
Columbia Southern University
Psych Unit IV Article Review
There are so many different theories out there that try to explain why we act the way we act. How do we explain evil or hateful behavior? I just finished reading the article ‘’Prison Violence: Does brutality come with a badge?’’, written by: Bruce Gross. This article talks about being a prison guard, and how some people act when they enter this career. Would you act differently if you went from the role of the prisoner to the role of the prison guard?
There have been many reports of ‘’cruel and unusual’’ punishment that is being administered by prison guards to inmates in prisons. Not only are inmates reporting this abuse, but federal authorities are also recognizing there is a problem. In 2005, the commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons said there were 16,000 allegations of sexual and physical assault that were reported. There are also reports of abuse happening in County jails as well as in prisons. ‘’Inmates have reported being choked, kicked, punched, and hit with objects by single or multiple guards’’, (Gross, 2008).
If you look back at our history, it is full of ordinary people who commit terrible acts of violence. Some people have done studies and are trying to understand why people commit these ‘’evil crimes’’. Stanley Milgram is one of those people. He was a Yale University professor, who conducted an experiment in 1961. In this experiment there were ‘’teachers’’ and there were ‘’learners. The teachers were given the power to administer a shock to the learners if they answered a question wrong. It was surprising how much the ‘’teachers’’ in the experiment would shock the ‘’learners’’ and the amount of volts that they would use without protest.
Another experiment that was done to test these violent behaviors was known as the Stanford Prison Experiment. In August of 1971, this experiment was started by psychology professor Philip...