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  • 1. The Stanford Prison Experiment
  • 2. “Situational variables can exert powerful influences over human behavior – More so than we recognize or acknowledge” ~ Philip Zimbardo – Origins of experiment – How the experiment unfolded – What led to the abrupt ending
  • 3. – 7o volunteers – Waiver signed – Professor Zimbardo assigned himself the role of prison superintendent
  • 4. - Arrested by Palo Alto Police Department - Stripped, searched, and given nightgowns - Many “counts” and pushups Other than the guards disturbing the prisoners throughout the night it was relatively uneventful until morning...
  • 5. On the second morning the prisoners retaliated Solidarity formed between the guards Prisoners began to distrust each other
  • 6. “There was zero time for refleciton. We had to feed the prisoners three meals a day, deal with the prisoner breakdowns... By the third day I was sleeping in my office. I had become the superintendent of Stanford County Prison.” ~ Zimbardo, Stanford Magazine
  • 7. Meanwhile, the abuse of the guards was continuing to escalate in the form of taking away toilet privileges, blindfolding, stripping, and physical activity. An actual priest came to talk to the prisoners. By this point the prisoners had lost their real identities and introduced themselves as their prison number. Prisoner 819 wanted a doctor instead of a priest. When they finally got him to come out and talk her broke down. “819 is a bad prisoner”
  • 8. Parol Hearing 'If you were to be paroled, would you be willing to give back all of the money you have earned so far?' Most said yes
  • 9. Zimbardo ended the experiment on the sixth day –Videotapes –Christina Maslach
  • 10. Looking back... The newspaper ad began the whole thing. The five days of the study was filled with abuse, loss of identity, and emotional breakdowns Finally, the study ended on the sixth day after Zimbardo's girlfriend saw the cruelty.
  • 11. “ Is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces” ~Philip Zimbardo