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Groups and Obedience
The Stanford Prison Experiment

1
The Stanford Prison Experiment

2
Experiment Questions
► What happens when you put good people in

an evil place?
► Does humanity win over evil, or does evi...
Experiment Design
► Social psychologist

Phillip Zimbardo
► Experiment to study
the behaviors of
people without criminal
r...
Experiment Design
►
►

►

►

Guards made their rules
Prisoners were
unexpectedly picked up
from their homes,
handcuffed an...
Experiment Results
►

►

►

But the experiment was
stopped after only six
days!
Each group could no
longer distinguish bet...
► Psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo's Stanford

Prison Experiment of August 1971 quickly became
a classic.
► Using real...
Let’s see what happened . . .
► www.prisonexp.org

8
Implications
► "It shows how easy it is for good people to

become perpetrators of evil."
► Zimbardo maintains that the st...
Implications
► Zimbardo has strong opinions on the

harmful effects of harsh prison sentences.
"Prisons are evil places th...
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Groups- Obedience_Stanford Prison

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Transcript of "Groups- Obedience_Stanford Prison"

  1. 1. Groups and Obedience The Stanford Prison Experiment 1
  2. 2. The Stanford Prison Experiment 2
  3. 3. Experiment Questions ► What happens when you put good people in an evil place? ► Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? ► These are some of the questions posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University. 3
  4. 4. Experiment Design ► Social psychologist Phillip Zimbardo ► Experiment to study the behaviors of people without criminal records in a mock prison ► Selected 24 healthy young men volunteers ► Normal, intelligent, middle class college students ► Half were assigned the roles of guards; the other half were prisoners 4
  5. 5. Experiment Design ► ► ► ► Guards made their rules Prisoners were unexpectedly picked up from their homes, handcuffed and searched Then stripped, deloused, groin uniforms, and put in a cell The experiment was supposed to last two weeks… 5
  6. 6. Experiment Results ► ► ► But the experiment was stopped after only six days! Each group could no longer distinguish between their roles and real life In only a few days, the guards became sadistic and the prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. 6
  7. 7. ► Psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment of August 1971 quickly became a classic. ► Using realistic methods, Zimbardo and others were able to create a prison atmosphere that transformed its participants. ► The young men who played prisoners and guards revealed how much circumstances can distort individual personalities -- and how anyone, when given complete control over others, can act like a monster. 7
  8. 8. Let’s see what happened . . . ► www.prisonexp.org 8
  9. 9. Implications ► "It shows how easy it is for good people to become perpetrators of evil." ► Zimbardo maintains that the student-participants suffered no long-term harm -- even though some had symptoms of mental breakdown during the experiment. But now, the standards for using human subjects in research wouldn't permit such an experiment, ► "Because of the rules, it's unlikely to ever be replcated" 9
  10. 10. Implications ► Zimbardo has strong opinions on the harmful effects of harsh prison sentences. "Prisons are evil places that demean humanity. ... They are as bad for the guards as they are for the prisoners," he said, pointing to results of his experiment showing that both guards' and prisoners' personalities were warped by their given roles. 10
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