The Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

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The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. It took place from 14th August 1971 to 20th August 1971, in Stanford University. It took place in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building Professor Phillip Zimbardo and a team of researchers- who studied at Stanford University -led the experiment. Professor Zimbardo and his team had a purpose of understanding the development in the attitudes of the prisoners and guards, and the effects of roles, labels and social expectations in a simulated prison environment. The experiment was funded by a government grant from the U.s Office of Naval Research to study antisocial behaviour. The volunteers were recruited by the team placing newspaper ads, offering $15 per day to male college students to take part in a study on the psychology of imprisonment. From these ads more than 75 people responded, but 24 students chosen to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards – 12 prisoners (9 plus 3 alternates), 12 guards (9 plus 3 alternates). The chosen students were chosen, as they had no prior record of criminal arrests, medical conditions, or psychological disorders. They were told and were expected to play their roles for 2 weeks, to observe the effect of prison life, through cameras around the ‘prison’. After the fake prison was prepared, the experiment fell into action. A Palo Alto police car swept through the town picking up college students as part of a mass arrest for violation of laws. The suspect was picked up at his home, charged, warned of his legal rights, spread-eagled against the police car, searched, and handcuffed. The suspect was then put in the rear of the police car and carried off to the police station. A complete identification was made and the suspect was then taken to a holding cell where he was

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