•behavior of people caught up in the extreme conditions
•the impact of imposed social roles on behavior
•the processes of group dynamics and social influence
The movie is about a diverse group of 20 paid male participants that agree to be locked in a jail a psychological experiment. They are. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and 24 hour surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are assigned positions as either prisoners or wardens (guards). The 'prisoners' are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the 'guards' are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Every reasonable person, knowing that he participates in the experiment, believes that nothing can dislodge it from the track; he will be calm and keep a balanced mental state. The results of the experiment are staggering. Scheduled for two weeks, the experiment was interrupted for 5 days already. People completely lost their sense of the reality. The movie clearly shows that in the extreme situations, people may behave completely inappropriately, humiliating and insulting people who are subject to them. Along with the psychological stress increases and the aggressive potential. Peace-loving people who started the experiment in a quiet environment, and develop in a short time commitment to violence, which, according to the popular belief, is typical only for true criminals.
People believe in the myth that the high level of aggressiveness and disrespect for any authority and had contempt for the society with all its "rules" that are absorbed by the prisoners, are caused by the prisoners themselves, and those cruelty, callousness, brutality, that become "professional disease" of employees - there are, again, through the fault of the prison’s employees. As the result, when there is a riot of prisoners and emerge the facts about employee’s sadistic and brutal behavior - then just change people and the prison "in itself", with all its atmosphere, the system of relationships, attitudes, stereotypes, habits, opinions - remains unchanged. Further I would like to consider the following processes of group dynamics and processes of social influence, which I have seen throughout the movie.
First of all, the concept of deindividuation (deindividualization), which is considered as the loss of self-awareness and individual accountability in a group. I saw the manifestation of this phenomenon from those scenes in the movie, when prisoners were forced to wear a special prison uniform, and their names were replaced with the prison numbers.Those who only yesterday was a unique personality, distinguished by its characteristic features, both externally and internally, getting into the prison loses its individuality, it is just a prisoner with the number.
I think that purpose of this prison form and numbers is to hide the identity of prisoners and to remove any psychological barriers regarding the violence and cruelty, because it’s very hard to be cruel to a man whom you perceive as a man; and be cruel to "such and such a number" is much easier psychologically. In this regard, a form of both prisoners and guards play an important role.
The role of the guard’s uniform attributes – the handcuffs and batons is designed to...