The Stanford Prison Experiment: The Role Of Power

768 Words4 Pages
Abstract Every man is born to be a leader; however, it has been proven that man cannot handle a role of power correctly. A psychologist came up with the idea of putting college student in a facility in where each one of them were given different roles to play. Somewhere given the role of a prisoner and others the role of a security guard. Things were all fun and games until it got out of control. The men in the Stanford facility were beginning to truly believe that they were exactly the roles that they were given (Stanford Prison Experiment). The question is, is it the power they can’t handle or their psychological mindset? There was a set of phycological variables that proved to have made ordinary people do things they wouldn’t do before.…show more content…
Does the good in humanity overcome evil, or does evil succeed? These are a couple of questions psychologist came up with while Stanford University conducted their dramatic experiment in 1971 (Stanford Prison Experiment). The experiment deteriorated very quickly and showed the true dark and inhuman side of human nature. For the criminal justice system aspect, the experiment was managed to try to describe what happens ordinary people are placed in a prison environment as inmates and some are given the authority and to take away others rights. “Philip Zimbardo's experiment on prison life immediately exhibited how a person can simply let go of their own identity to fit into the social roles expected of them (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973).” The end result of this experiment is still influential in psychology…show more content…
However, there are multiple reasons to why this experiment was ethically unsuccessful yet very informative on both human behavior and role playing. There were many reasons into why the participants of the experiment were heavily influenced into their assigned roles. One main reason that may have affected their behaviors was the fact that there was a power hierarchy. Even though this hierarchy was never real, both the guards and the prisoners grasped this behavior into their identity. The actions, behaviors and attitudes of all involved changed drastically in the six days that the experiment was active. “They soon changed into aggressive guards and anxious prisoners (Zimbardo et al, 1973).” This experiment, revealed the true identity that explained our actions in a much comprehensive

More about The Stanford Prison Experiment: The Role Of Power

Open Document