Stanford Prison Experiment Analysis

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An Overview of The Stanford Prison Experiment The Stanford Prison Experiment was designed and conducted by a Social Psychologist Dr. Zimbardo at Stanford University in 1971. According to Zimbardo (1971), the experiment was intended to better interpret “the basic psychological mechanisms underlying human aggression” (p. 1). The experiment’s goal was to test the dispositional hypothesis - whether the uncontrollable violence within an ordinary prison environment was legitimately caused by the existing violent nature of one’s self and personality flaws or simply situational. The researchers also focused on the observation and evaluation of the changes in mental states and psychological health in both authoritative guards and submissive prisoners. The study was deemed controversial due to the incorrect use of deception and highlights the justified dehumanization existing in law-enforced prisons. The design of the experiment was highly detailed to…show more content…
Contracts were signed and the forbiddance of physical aggression and physical punishments were emphasized. However, no clear guidelines of both roles were given to the participants. Prisoners were arrested in hand-cuffs without prior notice, fingerprinted, blindfolded and stripped naked before the incarceration. While in the cells, chains were put on their ankles and caps on their hair, loose fitting smocks were worn without undergarments; a sense of depersonalization, dehumanization, emasculation and imprisonment was conveyed to the prisoners from the start. Direct observation, audio and video recording technologies, questionnaires, reports, tests and post experimental interviews were used to capture a wide range of analytical data. In addition, personality tests, daily guard shirt reports, questionnaires, mood inventories and post experimental interviews were

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