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Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

772 words - 4 pages

Gandhi once said “Our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions, our actions become our character, our character becomes our destiny.” That very quote was proven in the 1973 Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo. Zimbardo placed an ad in the newspaper asking for young males to par take in his experiment with in return getting paid $15 a day. Out of 75 volunteers 24 were chosen as participants. Zimbardo randomly selected the males to be either the prisoners or the guards. The prison stimulation was kept as close to real life as possible, Zimbardo converted a basement of the Stanford University psychology building into a mock prison. The Stanford Prison experiment was to test if people would fall into the roles that they were told to be. The results that followed were astounding, neither Zimbardo or his colleges expected the outcome.
To start the experiment Zimbardo arrested the “so-called” prisoners, he did this without warning and had them taken to their local police station. Once there they were treated as any other prisoner would be, they were fingerprinted, photographed, and booked. The prisoners were then blindfolded and driven to the Stanford University in other words the prison. The University was converted into a very realistic prison complete with barred doors and windows, bare walls, and small cells. Once the prisoners entered the doors they not only lost their freedom but also their own reality. They were stripped naked, deloused, all their personal possessions were taken from them and locked away. The prisoners received a uniform with a number on it, from that
point on there referred to only by their number. There were 3 guards to the 9 prisoners, switching off every 8 hours.
Within a very short time both the prisoners and the guard not only accepted but preformed their roles as if they have been doing it for years. The guards soon started behaving in a brutal and very demean manner, they would harass and torture the prisoners. The prisoners adopted a prisoner-like behavior, they talked about prison issues and tell stories about their life as a prisoner. Some prisoners began siding with the guards against other prisoners who weren’t following the rules. Over the next couple of days the relationship between the prisoners and guards changed dramatically, as the prisoners became...

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