Mock Prison Experiment Summary

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1. The general idea of the article is about a mock prison experiment conducted by Doctor Zimbardo. The research was to identify the psychological causes of aggression and violence, and to observe the variables that promoted such behaviour in prison. He did this by using two groups of people that were randomly assigned as either a prisoner or a prison guard. The hypothesis that is focused upon to provide an explanation to the conditions in prisons is the dispositional hypothesis. The dispositional hypothesis is the idea that “the state of the social institution of prison is due to the nature of the people who administrate it, or the ‘nature’ of the people who populate it, or both.” (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973, p.2). This means to say that…show more content…
This is what is said to bring in violent and aggressive behaviour according to the dispositional hypothesis. But even having the dispositional hypothesis into focus, no specific hypothesis was actually chosen for testing aside from the general idea that the behaviour and attitudes of the two groups would differ psychologically. Another purpose aside from increasing the knowledge of psychology, was that the Office of Naval Research and the Marine Corps, wanted to “develop effective training designs to eliminate conditions which elicit counter- productive conflict.” (Haney, Banks,& Zimbardo, 1973, p.1). Zimbardo (1973) believed that their behaviour was influenced by the roles that prisoners and prison guards were expected to play. Simply the thought of either being a guard or a prisoner already influenced their thoughts of “how” they are supposed to…show more content…
Another point, since the requirements for subjects was the same, they could keep the subjects for different number of days. This could be used to test if the number of days they stayed in prison further affects the behaviour and extent of aggression and emotional depression they got into. An addition to the furniture in prison could be a punching bag in the prison yard or in cells. This could help us see the difference in their feelings. If they would punch the bag, it was feeling of anger and violence and if they would just sit around or still cried, it could mean that they were sad. This could further emphasize on the fact that it’s not the mentality they come with to prison, but the mentality formed by the conditions in the prison because no subject had previously been involved in anti-social or criminal

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