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Stanford Prison Study Essay

563 words - 2 pages

Stanford Prison Study

The roles and norms of the participants barely varied at the start of the experiment. As time went on, everyone started falling into his roles. That’s when things started changing. For instance the role of the guard was to maintain order in the facility by means of physical or mental punishment. The further they went into the experiment the further they fell into their roles.

The expected roles of the prisoners were that they obey the rules and sit in their cells calmly, but that was far from what happened. Once inside the prison, the prisoners started rebelling by placing their mattresses against their doors so the guards couldn’t get into their cells or see what they were doing. The guards’ reaction to this was to take the fire extinguisher and spray it into the cell. This made the prisoners back away from the doors and allowed the guards to reestablish order in the jail.

Now I am going to talk about the norms. For the prisoners, the norms were that they had numbers instead of names, they had to put a stalking on their head to simulate being shaved, dresses had to be worn without undergarments, and the prisoners were put through severe de-individualization. The norms for the guards was that they wore mirrored sunglasses so prisoners couldn’t read their emotions, khaki uniforms, whistles around their necks, and billy clubs.

The thing that prevented the “good guards” from objecting to the “bad guards” was that the good guards didn’t want to look weak in front of everyone else. Groupthink also played a big role in this because the guards...

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