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Prison of Pyschology

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Psychology Research Paper: 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment

Joseph Roby

Carrington College

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1971 Stanford Prison Experiment It’s been over 42 years now since an illustrious experiment was performed by a couple of Stanford Psychologists that would ultimately change the course on how we look at people with the right of authority. In 1971, Psychology Professor Dr. Phillip Zimbardo operated a psychology experiment called the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment to see just how ordinary people would react when given authority over another helpless being. This experiment would take place inside the psychology rooms of the Stanford College, and would durate between the dates of August 14, 1971 to August 20, 1971. Guards would be hired and given legitimate power over mock prisoners to see what levels of domestication they would impose on them. The experiment would start off cool and harmonious, but would eventually take a blinding turn for the worst. After just six days the experiment was brought to an unforeseen end and never reached the two week frame that it was given. In just those six days Dr. Zimbardo, and eventually a wide audience, would forever know the 1971 Stanford prison experiment as an experiment that would change the amount of power someone could and will be given in a title of authority. It was never Dr. Zimbardo’s intention to create something so impactful, or maybe just not in the way it impacted our society. Before his experiment the citizens who were put in a state of power were supervised much looser than they are today. He, along with a few fellow psychologists, came up with a scenario where they would hire undergraduate students from local colleges to act as guards for a prison. They had over 70 applicants and selected a mix of completely innocent citizens who have never done wrong, and citizens that had minor...

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