Stanford Prison Experiment: Social (Findings (study only lasted 6 days-…
Stanford Prison Experiment: Social
realistic prison simulation
prisoners lose freedom and guards gain power
when does a role-play situation become more than just a game?
if this was an aim- how can he justify that he did it/ surely it cannot be true that he did not expect things to get out of hand?
to understand the reality of aggression and violence in US prisons
Zimbardo was friends with Milgram
they noticed that ppl were labelled as 'bad eggs' when from LSES background
Z's earlier work: de-individuation
wearing paper bag over head increased aggression: the power of anonymity
'brain washing' in Korean war interested Z
100,000 UK prison population, 50% re-offend within 1 year, issues of drug addiction, rape, trauma (ex-army etc)
idea was his students' (David): who conducted small study prior (1971)
David Jaffe was warden in Z's version
Palo Alto, CA, Stanford University Psychology Dept basement/offices
75 applicants- 25 recruited as ptts, male college students only
what qualities were they chosen for? where they picked in order to make things more interesting?
$15 pd for 2w
11 guards, 10 prisoners, randomly assigned
3 small cells, barred doors, small beds
solitary: a cupboard 2x2x7 feet
Banuazizi & Movahedi
(1975): ecological validity? phenomenological significance? Z over-involvement? Alternative explanations
Reicher & Haslam
1st day: prisoners arrested from homes, blindfolded, fingerprinted, stripped, 'deloused', silent
dehumanisation & deindividuation
prisoners inside 24/7 whereas, guards had shifts and could go home
different levels of involvement in the study: perhaps it felt more real for the prisoners than the guards?
Zimbardo was involved as Superintendent
violence prohibited but means of 'keeping order' not specified by Z
why prohibit violence & then provide a weapon? (nightstick)
uniforms promoted anonymity
: guards wore uniform & sunglasses (no eye contact) & batons... prisoners wore a smock with nothing underneath, ID number on front and back, chain round one ankle, hat made from tights
anthropological evidence: most violent tribes alter their appearance before battle: self-protection via dissociation from antisocial behaviour
Parole board including Z decide if prisoner allowed to leave or not
completely in breach of right to withdraw
Video, interview, diary, observations
guards became more aggressive as study progressed & 1/3 were
physical punishment, taunting, solitary punishment, tried to 'divide and conquer', denied basic human rights
anguish of prisoners
learned helplessness of prisoners
"good men vs evil situation.. the situation triumphed" - Z
study only lasted 6 days- & probably should've been stopped before then!
5 prisoners released by this point: crying, rage, depression/anxiety
: an neglected variable: diary revealed how guard went from pacifist to force feeding prisoner in just 5 days... "I didn't believe it was me doing it"
: no continuity or sense of time as in jail 24/7... prisoners sleep deprived... no windows...
people overreact to minor stimuli in such conditions
Anonymity = antisocial beh
: standard uniform, haircut, no personal possessions, minimal privacy & autonomy