Stanford Prison Experiment Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Stanford Prison Experiment?
The Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by psychologist Philip Zimbardo in 1971, is one of the most famous psychological studies ever conducted. The experiment sought to explore the effects of perceived power on human behavior by placing participants into a simulated prison environment. Participants were randomly assigned to the roles of either prisoner or guard, and their behaviors were closely monitored over a two week period.The results of the experiment showed how quickly people could change when placed in a new role with different power dynamics. The guards quickly began to take on their roles as authority figures and became increasingly oppressive and cruel towards their prisoners. Many of the prisoners began to exhibit signs of extreme distress and depression as they were subjected to harsh punishments from the guards. This demonstrated how easily individuals can be influenced by social roles and situations, even when it goes against their own personal beliefs or values. While there have been criticisms that this study was unethical due to its coercive methods, there is no denying that it opened up new avenues for understanding human behavior in different contexts. It highlighted how easily people can adapt to new environments and take on new identities when given appropriate cues from those around them. It also demonstrated that power can be abused if not properly regulated, which has important implications for both social settings as well as corporate structures today.