Stanford Prison Experiment Essay: How It Changed the Way We View Human Behavior

We often believe that only we can define our social roles and they’re totally up to us. Up to our choice and only we can have an influence on it. However, Stanford Prison Experiment totally revolutionized how can be viewed not only in social roles and social life but even human behavior as a whole.

This Stanford prison experiment essay paper will spare you all the details yet you will get a simple and easy to understand explanation about its importance.

It was carried out in 1971 by Philip K. Zimbardo. The Stanford professor became forever known for his famous experiment. He is a well-known psychologist, whose more recent project is called Heroic Imagination Project. Its aim is propagating heroic deeds and actions in everyday life. His another endeavor was founding The Shyness Clinic in California, which helps to treat adults’ and children’s shyness.

He is also a strong advisor and supporter of Bystander Revolution, where he explains the ill of lack of action when bullying or evil deeds are taking place.

Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay: How Did It Turn Out

In your Stanford prison experiment essay, you must mention that the purpose of the experiment was to test how quickly the subjects would adapt to their given roles. Students were to become prisoners and guards for a fortnight. Everything was fully realistic, with “yard”, for prisoners to have food and physical training. The imprisoned were referred to by their prison numbers and not names.

And, of course, to fully understand the ethics of the Stanford prison experiment essay, the inmates who misbehaved would be punished even with solitary confinements for some.

Realistic conditions caused the imprisoned to rise in rebellion on the next day after their imprisonment. It was suppressed thanks to the guard shift change when there were enough guards to calm everybody down.

After that, guards started to use a more psychological approach, and not brute force. They divided those involved and neutrals. The neutrals were to live in “privilege cells”. In those prisoners had a bed, could wash and clean their teeth.

This almost immediately antagonized two groups of prisoners. Because those ones, who were in regular conditions, thought those “privileged” were informants. This also extinguished any potential sparks for the second rebellion.

But that wasn’t enough. After some time, the bad ones got transferred into privilege cells, while their counterparts into regular conditions. Both parties were totally confused.

For example, the bucket which served the role of a toilet by inmates wasn’t emptied regularly, which caused a terrible stink of urine and feces were all over the cells.

This Stanford prison experiment analytical essay could give more shocking details. Effects, however, were terrifying. The more time passed, the more things got concerning. Participants clearly began losing minds, and guards became more and more aggressive towards them. They were making more and more severe punishments.

Zimbardo, seeing one prisoner let go, was even thinking to abort everything, as it was beginning to get more and more serious. The latter clearly began to lose sanity after a day and half of the experiment. Just this little period of time was enough for prisoners to start being affected.

To fully understand it, a Catholic priest was allowed to interview each prisoner. And he was shocked by what he saw. Many of them introduced themselves with their prison numbers and not actual names. They were asked, “How do you plan to become free?”. Inmates were totally puzzled.

One prisoner denied the priest. He was ill and denied food. Then something strange happened. After other prisoners were told to say that their colleague was a bad prisoner and living conditions of others were terrifying because of him – he began crying. He didn’t care about sickness or doctor. All that mattered to him was to prove he wasn’t a bad inmate.

Zimbardo must have directly intervened to inform him, that he wasn’t an inmate, it was an experimentation, Zimbardo himself was no actual intendant.

Stanford Prison Experiment Summary Essay: How It All Ended

Everything ended only after 6 days. It was becoming dangerous to the mental health of the subjects and they were beginning to irreversibly change their personality.

Concluding the essay about Stanford prison experiment… It is still the biggest controversial one in psychology to understand the nature of our social roles and decisions we take.

If you’re interested in more works of Zimbardo, you should definitely read The Lucifer Effect or Social Intensity Syndrome Theory(SIS). It shows that men are opting for joining male groups much more than women or groups where two sexes were present.

Our succinct essay about Stanford prison experiment ends here. Thanks for reading.