Zimbardo'S Human Behaviour Experiment

504 Words3 Pages
The aim of this experiment which was carried out by social psychologist Philip Zimbardo which was to test the popular assumption the public assumes of whether most people attribute the brutal atmosphere in the prison to the personal characterstics of the inmates. This statement was supported by the fact that they were criminals. It was also to test whether people who choose to become prison guards have an authority like personality and enjoy pushing as well as punishing people around. This experiment was to take place for two weeks and volunteers were being paid 15 dollars a day. The design of this experiment was to built a number of controls into the experiment. Volunteers who were a dozen male of college students were selected by the answering ads in the newspaper for voluntaring to participate in a social psychological experiment. The volunteers were white collar students with similar personal charactersticss, they were intelligant, smart and emotinally stable according to the test they took and none of them showed any violent behavour or anti-social like characterstics. A flip of the coin was to decide who was to be the inmate and the prison guard. All the volunteers were carefully screened. The students were given instruction to maintain law, order and respect in the prison, create their own rules and the potential danger of running the prison of their own responsibility. After 6 days the experiment was stopped. The conclusion was horrfying, wthin a matter of days into the experiment the prison guards started treating the inmates like animal, they started acting in authority like figure punishing the inmates. For example a prisoner was put in a solidarity confinment for not eating, the guards gave the other prisoners a choice give up their blankets and the prisoner would be released or keep their blankets. All the inmates kept their blankets. None of the
Open Document