Tag Archive for 'psychology'

Stanford Prison Experiment (What do you add to the script?)

Everyone was acting out a part and playing a role: prisoners, guards, staff … everyone was acting out a part. It’s when you start contributing to the script. That’s you, and thus you should take responsibility …

Prisoner 416, of the Stanford Prison Experiment*

From wikipedia:

The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted in 1971 by a team of researchers led by Psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. Twenty-four undergraduates were selected out of 70 to play the roles of both guards and prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

From the Professor Zimbardo’s website about the experiment:

What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.

* Debates on “free will” aside, I do believe in subjective free will, and always holding people accountable for their actions. Prisoner 416’s statement sums it up perfectly for me.