One of the most well-known and controversial studies in the realm of psychology was conducted by Phillip Zimbardo in the 1970s to study the effects of prison conformity on a sample group of college students. This study, known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, was scheduled to continue for two weeks, but it had to be cut short to six days due to the horrendous events that occurred during procedures. Although the majority of researchers currently agree that Zimbardo’s experiment was completely unethical, it can be said that the lessons learned from the study are extremely insightful as those lesson continue to be relevant in certain aspects of life today.
Description of Design and Setup of the Study
Interestingly, Zimbardo did not formulate…show more content… During the experiment, it seemed that each participant forgot that this was just a study and that they could have left at any time. It was as though everyone thought the experimental procedures were real-life events that they could not escape. Each participant truly believed their role as either a prisoner or guard so much that their inherit personality traits were set aside and each participant embodied their assigned role to an extreme extent. For instance, the prisoners became obedient to the guards and conformed to the rules and demands set by the guard participants. The prisoners also started to show symptoms such as signs of depression, trauma, rage, crying, uncontrollable actions, and disorganized thinking. At first, some of the prisoner participants did attempt to rebel or create escape plans, whether by themselves or in groups. However, their efforts were thwarted and they gave up any attempt at rebellion. Instead, the prisoner participants assumed a very individualistic attitude in that they abandoned the solidarity of other inmate participants. Most shockingly, the inmate participants became hopeless passive dehumanized robots. Even still, five prisoner participants developed extreme depression and had to be released from the study…show more content… I say this because the guards in Zimbardo’s experiments were not trained on how to properly deal with inmates. Although I am not an expert on how things are supposed to be in a prison, I am pretty sure that guards are not allowed to work with the prisoners until after they have completed multiple training courses. Personally, I think it was careless of Zimbardo to go through all the trouble of simulating a real prison experience, but to leave out the guards from receiving training. I believe the results would have been different if the guard participants would have at least attended a couple of real training