Psychology 2301 / Section 304
Stanford Prison Experiment to the Atrocities at Abu Ghraib Prison
From August 14 to August 20 of 1971 researchers at Stanford University in California funded an experiment that took regular untrained students and placed them in a prison type setting. Twenty four were chosen, some were designated as prisoners and others as guards. The experiment lasted only six of the planned fourteen day because a researcher who came to observe questioned the morality of the experiment and argued it was cruel. Philip Zimbardo, the person heading up this incredible experiment was surprised that the people who were given power abused it so quickly. The guards who were instructed to wear guard outfits and reflective aviators, and were abusive and manipulative to the prisoners. The sunglasses were enforced so the prisoners didn’t see the guards as people, but rather robot like oppressors. They practiced strange low grade torture methods on the captives, and supported the captives scolding their peers about acting up. This created havoc among them, and two prisoners left the experiment early because they couldn’t take the mental stress of it all. When the experiment started the lead people had no idea that it would be this severe, or it would impact individuals in certain ways. Lets examine how over use of power like this can transfer over to a much larger scale of severity much like the acts that were committed at Abu Ghraib.
The Abu Ghraib Prison located in Abu Ghraib, Iraq was the site of many abusive and torturous acts during the beginning stages of the Iraqi War. Interrogation methods that were horrible that had never been used prior to the Iraqi invasion were being tested and deemed successful. These methods were then enforced at Abu Ghraib, which lead to further misconduct amongst the guards at the facility. All of the power that was given to these individuals was so great that not even their...