Compare And Contrast Haslam And Zimbardo

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Comparative Social Psychology Theorist Essay Throughout my essay I will be comparing the two theorists Zimbardo and Reicher/Haslam on their research into the Psychology of Tyranny and Evil. The research that they conducted was important to social psychology as it showed the effects that can occur when people are placed into a role. Even though the conclusions they presented where important, their studies, particularly Zimbardo’s was seen as controversial as not all ethical principles were adhered to. Additionally, these two theorists as the conclusions they provided can help to explain real world behaviour. Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) aimed to investigate how willing people would conform to the roles that they were casted.…show more content…
Similar to Zimbardo’s study the participants were selected and assessed to make sure they could undertake the study and then randomly separated into the two groups. Reicher and Haslam inputted planned interventions in the study such as guards being told they had been selected for that position due to their qualities but some may have been miss assigned. A second intervention allowed the guards to promote 1 prisoner to a guard, however later said there was no difference between groups. Due to these planned interventions the results from their study showed that prisoners when there was a chance of promotion there was a lack of collective action. But after the second intervention there was a stronger sense of shared identity causing the prisoner to reject the hierarchy. Conversely to Zimbardo’s Reicher and Haslams results suggest that people don’t automatically assume roles and will take different factors into account. These factors can include group boundary permeability as Reicher, S., & Haslam, S. A. (2006) suggested that when a prisoner could be promoted this lead to low group cohesion as there was no shared identity. Yet after the promotion occurred the group boundaries, then became impermeable the prisoners began to develop a stronger shared identity and…show more content…
A. (2008) suggests that Zimbardo’s study has been beneficial to the real world as his findings have altered the way the prisons in the US are controlled. McLeod, S A (2008, paragraph27) provides the example of juveniles accused of federal crimes are no longer housed before trial with adult prisoners reducing the threat of violence towards them. Furthermore, McLeod, S. A. (2008) suggested that due to the methodology that Zimbardo used was ethically questionable it highlighted the importance of formal recognition of ethical guidelines. Meaning studies must now receive approval from the ethics committee to make sure that no physiological harm will occur to the participants and if it does will the benefits of the research justify this. Nevertheless, there are many weaknesses of Zimbardo’s prison experiment such as low population validity. As all participants were American males this makes it harder to generalise the findings to other groups such as female prisoners due to physiological differences. In addition, there is a cultural bias in the results as America is an individualist culture which makes it difficult to generalise the results to collectivist cultures. Furthermore, the study was criticized as being an ethical ‘time capsule’ as now due to the strict ethical guidelines no researcher would be able to replicate Zimbardo’s study exactly. Therefore, we cannot test to see if Zimbardo’s results are

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