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The Stanford Prison Experiment: Taking A Deeper Look

1023 words - 5 pages

A local newspaper ad reached out for volunteers to participate in a Psychological study, created by Philip G. Zimbardo and his research team, which sounded interesting for many individuals. Was it the best option to follow through with it? Volunteers were given a promise of being paid fifteen dollars a day of the study. Multiple members probably considered this a once in a life time event that could result in quick, easy money. Many may have heard about the Stanford Prison Experiment, but may not have been aware of the scars that it left upon the participants. Taking a deeper look into the study and the impacted outcomes on individuals will be elaborated on (Stanford Prison Experiment).
On August 14, 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment had begun. The volunteers who had replied to the ad in the newspaper just weeks before were arrested for the claims of Armed Robbery and Burglary. The volunteers were unaware of the process of the experiment, let alone what they were getting themselves into. They were in shock about what was happening to them. Once taken into the facility, the experimenters had set up as their own private jail system; the twenty-four volunteered individuals were split up into two different groups (Stanford Prison Experiment).
By the flip of a coin, 12 members were assigned to act as prison guards and the other 12 members were assigned to act as the prisoners. According to the source Stanford Prison Experiment it states, “The guards were given no specific training on how to be guards.” The assigned guards were free at will, to do what they believed what needed to be done to keep order within the prison walls. The experiment contained three different types of guards that acted out in the experiment. One-third of the guards were very hostile towards the prisoners, others were considered the “Good Guys” who helped out the prisoners when possible, and lastly they had guards that were tough on prisoners, but at least followed the prison rules (Stanford Prison Experiment).
With volunteers acting as prison guards, by making their own rules how would the prisoners feel about this? Honestly, the prisoner volunteers acted out just as prisoners in a real prison. Using their own way of coping tactics they handle the stressful events that they were facing under the rule of the guards. Many of the prisoners acted out as good as they possible could by doing what they were told. Some of the prisoners had emotional breakdowns, unable to handle the experience they were facing not having a clue how to deal with their feelings or control. Lastly, some of the prisoners would rebel against the guards fearing they were not being treated fairly (Stanford Prison Experiment).
Prisoners from day one, of the 2-week experiment, were treated poorly by the guards. They had to face humiliation and embarrassment by being stripped naked and sprayed with water, on account of the explanation of, germs. The prisoners were kept in cells with three total...

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