The Stanford Prison Experiment: Zimbardo And Le Bon

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Have you ever noticed that certain people act and behave differently when they are with crowds versus when they are alone? Being in a large crowd can really impact individual to act in a certain way that they seem to fit in with the group and sometimes do things more anonymous as it is in a large crowd. Both Zimbardo and Le Bon believe that bystanders are less responsible and more likely to commit violence than when people are alone. Philip Zimbardo is a psychologist and a professor at Stanford University; he researches the cause of evil in people by doing a Stanford prison experiment. Zimbardo states about how evil can cause good people easily by the peers that they are surrounded by and the culture and traditional way changes can affect people…show more content…
All of this happened because people lost their sense of identity when in a group. Zimbardo did an experiment where he tested how people are led to violent behavior about “Four participants were led to believe they were overhearing the research assistant tell the experimenter that the students from another college were present to start the study in which they were to deliver electric shocks of varying intensity to the participants (according to the dictates of a reasonable cover story)”(Zimbardo 32). Zimbardo also has experimented with human behavior in his Stanford Prison Experiment. He set up an experiment where he took volunteers from Stanford University and randomly selected some to be prisoners and others to be guards. They acted as if they were actually in prison, but things got out of hand when the people that acted like guards became way too invested in their roles. They began to act violently and abuse the people who were acting like prisoners. Even though those guards and prisoners were normally good people, suddenly, the experiment changed them and made them behave differently in this powerful situation. Le Bon believes this can happen often. He said,“...having entirely lost his conscious personality, he obeys all the suggestions of the operator who has deprived him of it and commits acts in utter contradiction with his character…show more content…
Zimbardo was shocked to discover how drastically a person could change. He explains, “I saw first-hand, my childhood friend go through such transformations, and I wondered how and why they changed so drastically and whether I could also change like that”( Zimbardo 25). People often change but rapid change is rare, and when someone changes drastically, that could be a negative thing. Le Bon also believes social norms can transform a person. He states that for any given person, "Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian-that is, a creature acting by instinct'' (Le Bon 13). When an individual is alone, they are more likely to be more independent and not lose their awareness and their instinct when they are with crowds. Le Bon explains that an individual can be a different person when they are with crowds than when they are alone by being more doing similar things that crowds are doing even if they tend to not do it when they are alone. Even though the two worked on entirely different experiments, they both came to the same conclusion. Both Zimbardo and Le Bon are similar in their research by how they both focus on each individual transformation and change into a negative effect with the power of negative social impacts. Just like Zimbardo theory that no one is born evil and we were all born good and innocent and it is the power of

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