Compare And Contrast Zimbardo And Haslam

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I’ve chosen to compare the theorists Zimbardo with his famous Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) and Reicher and Haslam with their BBC Prison Study (2001). They’ve all helped to shape our understanding of how being placed in different situations impact our behaviour more than our individual attributes. Zimbardo’s study is one of the key pieces of research in social psychology. His study demonstrates the sheer capability of an individual's cruelness when placed in an authoritative role. Similarly, Reicher and Haslam’s study demonstrates the impact that social identity has on our behaviour. Both studies interest me as they shine a light on real world occurrences, such as the treatment of people in the Nazi death camps during WW2 (Reicher, S.,…show more content…
(Shuttleworth, M., 2008). Also Zimbardo’s study didn't include female participants. By not including female participants, assuming that men and women would act the same in situations such as these is a flawed theory. Testosterone, which is produced in larger quantities than women by men, affects numerous types of behaviour, such behaviours are seen as ‘typical male’ behaviour. A supporting example of this was conducted by Dabbs et al (1995) who found that violent offenders had higher testosterone levels than offenders who were non-violent (Apicella et al, 2008). Experiments such as these highlight that men and women have different hormone levels, which affect behaviour, concluding that it isn’t possible to generalise findings across genders, unless you study both sexes. It is suggested that advertising for volunteers through a newspaper to participate in a study is risky. Findings from various studies, such as Carnahan and McFarland (2007) found that through newspapers, you have a free choice to choose what study you would like to participate in. This leads people to believe that if an individual wants to take part in a ‘prison life’ study, then they have a personality which is more suited and interested in the harsh and hierarchical world, just like the one that exists in prison, so you’d only get certain types of

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