Stanford prison experiment

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Information about Stanford prison experiment

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: rileyh1991




WHAT WAS THE TIME PERIOD IN WHICH THE RESEARCH TOOK PLACE? The study began on Sunday, August 17, 1971 and only continued for 6 days due to what was happening to the participants.

WHO WERE THE PARTICIPANTS?  The participants for this particular study included 24 undergraduate students from a group of 70 volunteers. These 24 undergraduate students were chosen based off three reasons, and these reasons were that they didn't have a criminal background, didn't show any psychological issues, and didn't have any major medical issues. From there, the 24 students were assigned as either a security guard or a prisoner and were paid $15.00 a day for a one-to-two week period.

METHOD  The study is usually described as an experiment with the independent variable being the conditions the participants are randomly allocated to: either prisoner or guard. The dependent variable is the resulting behavior. The study can also be described as a simulation as it was attempting to create a prison like environment.  Data collected were combinations of both quantitative and qualitative data. The main data though was qualitative and was obtained using video, audiotape and direct observation.

RESULTS • Behaviours and attitudes are strongly influenced by social roles • Participants in prison guard study displayed brutal behaviour whereas such tendencies were not apparent previously

RESULTS Guards and prisoners alike had difficulty believing that they were capable of their respective cruel and submissive behaviour Prisoners report that guards conformed to the usual three stereotypes: Tough Fair Cruel

ETHICAL CRITICISM  Lack of fully informed consent by participants  High levels of humiliation and distress experienced by prisoners  Lack of protection from psychological and physical harm *Experiment was unpredictable. Above implications could not be predetermined.

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