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Phillip K. Zimbardo Essay

  • Submitted by: yadudeya
  • on September 5, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 634 words

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Below is an essay on "Phillip K. Zimbardo" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In 1973, Philip K. Zimbardo, a psychology professor at Stanford University began researching how prisoners and guards internalize submissive and authoritarian roles. He placed an ad in the newspaper seeking male college students needed for a study of prison life. The experiment would last for only two weeks and they would get paid $15 per day. The ad attracted seventy-five responses, but only twenty-one were selected. The men were divided into two groups: Prisoners and Guards. They were warned that as prisoners of this experiment their privacy and other rights would be violated, as well as being harassed.

Zimbardo’s goal for this experiment was to find out the period in which the prisoners and guards become controlling and passive. In order to do this he had to set up a mock prison. The prisoners were given the same smocks to wear, lived in cells, and were given ID numbers. The guards were assigned identical uniforms, and were given billy clubs, whistles, handcuffs, and keys to all the cells and the main gate to show a sign of power they had over the prisoners. The guards had no training in how to handle their jobs, but caught on.In a real prison, guards don’t go through any training on how to treat the prisoners; they go by instinct. The prisoner’s quarters were small, and windowless; they never knew if it was day or night outside. At 10 P.M. it was time to lockup, and all privileges were denied. The mock prison was designed in order to bring out the psychological aspects of imprisonment. The prisoners were given sixteen basic rules to follow that would be followed. There were hidden video cameras and microphones that recorded the prisoners and guards conversations.

The first day of the experiment went by very smoothly. On the morning of the second day a riot broke loose; the prisoners barricaded themselves in their cells by putting their beds against the doors, and began to curse at the guards. The guards decided to take action and got a “fire extinguisher...

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