Stanford Prison Experiment

1130 Words5 Pages
Critical Response to “Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: A Lesson in the Power of Situation” by Phillip G. Zimbardo Abraham Lincoln once quoted “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man character, give him power”. Power is frequently defined as the ability to influence the behavior or others with or without resistance. The use of power could be seen as good or evil depending on whomever hands it falls into. In the article “Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment…,” Zimbardo does an experiment to prove his theory on “what happens to essentially good people when they are placed in positions of power in a prison situation” (Zimbardo 302). The experiment shows that every man, even a good one, can in circumstances do horrible things. Zimbardo divides the article into sections; the experiment, good apples in bad barrels, current relevance, and his personal response. Zimbardo contends the article by giving reference to Lord of the Flies when he describes how authority can give way to violence. Zimbardo argues that contest between nurture and nature and bad situations consume good people. Zimbardo’s philosophy of human nature, when an individual is introduced to power for the first time, is correct because we can all be portrayed as victims when power comes into play as it obligates us to turn into something we are not. However, everyone with access to power does not abuse it. Human nature refers to the individual characteristics, meaning the ways of people thinking, feelings and actions. It can be regarded as both a source of norms of conduct or ways of life, as well as presenting obstacles or constraints on living a good life. When dealing with authority, it reveals that man desires of power. The lust for power is a part of human nature, which is the point Zimbardo tries to get across. Zimbardo strongly argues that no matter how
Open Document