The Stanford Prison Experiment
What happens when good equal people are put in evil situations? In the article “The Stanford Prison Experiment” by Philip Zimbardo, participants in the experiment demonstrate characteristics that signify the Lucifer theory. The Lucifer theory is based from biblical prophecies Isaiah 14:12, that describes the most beautiful angel known as Lucifer. Lucifer was described as Gods favorite angel which whom he greatly loved. The bible then goes into detail on how Lucifer defies and rebels against God and is sent to hell, the “fallen angel”. This theory is observed best when an ordinary, normal person first crosses the boundary between good and evil to engage in an evil action. The Lucifer theory can be accompanied by many different distractions such as authority and systematic power, peer pressure, and the physical environment.
In “The Stanford Prison Experiment”, authority and systematic powers play a key role in this mock prison experiment. When Zimbardo splits the group of college students into guards and inmates, indications of the Lucifer theory become more perceptible. The students who play the guards, without any prior preexisting pathology, start to take the roll as if they had previous training. Zimbardo even states that, “the media had already provided them with ample models of prison guards to emulate,” making the job easier to fulfill (Zimbardo 735). The authority given to the students to play as the guards starts to transform their attitudes rapidly. They become more aggressive and begin to abuse their powers by dehumanizing the inmates, calling them names, stripping them naked, and occasionally abusing them. After a while, despite the atrocities already received by the inmates, the guards began forcing “them to engage in tedious, useless work” (Zimbardo 737). The guards started using fire extinguishers to end the inmate’s revolt, they dragged the inmate’s blankets through thorn bushes, they did not permit the inmates to...
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