Stanford Prison Experiment

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In 1971 Dr Philip Zimbardo and a team of psychologists conducted an experiment of a mock prison in the basement of Stanford University. The experiment was set out to study the influence of social roles in human behavior. In our daily lives we are expected to fulfill the social expectations of our “roles”, our roles will have different expectations depending on the situations we are faced with. The psychologists designed an experiment to find out how much we are truly influenced by the social expectations of different roles in this case the roles of guards and prisoners. They set out to study behavior of people who are faced with a bad situation; it studied the psychology of human aggression. “Zimbardo had two specific questions in mind that he hoped to answer after the study was complete. The two questions were: What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” (Zimbardo 2007) In 1971 Dr Philip Zimbardo and a team of psychologists conducted an experiment of a mock prison in the basement of Stanford University. The experiment was set out to study the influence of social roles in human behavior. In our daily lives we are expected to fulfill the social expectations of our “roles”, our roles will have different expectations depending on the situations we are faced with. The psychologists designed an experiment to find out how much we are truly influenced by the social expectations of different roles in this case the roles of guards and prisoners. They set out to study behavior of people who are faced with a bad situation; it studied the psychology of human aggression. “Zimbardo had two specific questions in mind that he hoped to answer after the study was complete. The two questions were: What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” (Zimbardo 2007)

The Stanford Prison Experiment. Retrieved October 9, 2007 from...
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