Stanford Prison Experiment

Topics: Stanford prison experiment, Prison, Ethics Pages: 2 (733 words) Published: August 5, 2008
The Stanford Prison experiment thought rather unethical, I think is one that was well worth over stepping those boundaries and if it had been done with more preparation and more safeguards, if feel its findings wouldn’t be so controversial. This study explores the power of roles in relation to your environment by taking normal men that were prescreened and randomly separated into two groups, prison guards and prisoners. Actual police without warning arrested the prisoners. They were then treated like common criminals fingerprinted, stripped naked, searched, chained placed and given a uniform and number this was done to create since of humiliation, oppression and no sense of individualism. Though the guards were given no training or instructions and created their own rules for the prison. The first day went fine but the days that followed the prisoner began rebellious and belligerent and the guards became immoral and harassed and intimated the prisoners. This part of the experiment plays a huge part in what can be learned about how roles affect our behavior. For instance, we can learn how people’s personalities and actions can be affected when their roles in society and environment change. From this experiment we can also learn that any normal person can experience behavioral distortions with the right mix of circumstances. Thought this experiment only lasted 6 of the 14-planned days, due to emotional effect on prison and unethical practices on the part of the guards. This experiment may have lacked a few experimental safeguards. “First, the issue of selection bias, selection bias is where you choose your subjects in such a way that they are not truly representative of the general population. In this case, Zimbardo advertised to students to participate in an experiment about "prison life". Clearly, a large segment of the general population would be repulsed by such a concept, and you've got to have questions about anyone attracted to that idea.” (Dunning)...

Cited: Dunning, Brian. "What You Didn 't Know About the Stanford Prison Experiment?" Skeptoid 27 May 2008. 25 June 2008 .
"Experiment." Wikipedia. 25 June 2008 .
Xavier, Robert. "The Stanford Prison Experiment: Exploring the Ethical Issues." The Peoples Media Company Jan. 2005. 25 June 2008 .
Zimbardo, Phil. "The Stanford Prison Experiment." (1971). 25 June 2008 .
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