The Stanford Prison Experiment

76 views 3 pages ~ 808 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

In the summer of 1971, psychology professor Philip Zimbardo conducted a study at Stanford University to study how the environment and situational variables affected the participants' reactions and behavior. During the experiment, participants were put in various situations and given a wide variety of tasks. Observations were made on a daily basis and the researchers looked for patterns in the behaviors of the subjects.

Prisoners rebelled against harsh treatment by guards

The Stanford Prison Experiment was designed to study prisoner behavior in a laboratory setting. Philip Zimbardo supervised the experiment by carefully selecting subjects. He turned down applicants with a history of behavioral problems or criminal convictions. He chose 24 healthy college-age men to participate in the study. Prisoners were randomly assigned to a group, and guards were randomly assigned to a different group. Both groups were expected to report for work three times a day.

The guards abused the prisoners. Some guards stripped them naked and forced ringleaders into solitary confinement. Others harassed prisoners, sat on their backs, and stepped on them to make them perform push-ups. Eventually, the prisoners began to revolt, and the guards were caught off guard. The prison's budget could not support the number of guards on duty at all times. As a result, they began to employ psychological tactics to suppress the rebellion.

The experiment quickly unraveled. At the end of day three, one-third of the guards had developed sadistic tendencies and were inflicting punishments on helpless prisoners. As a collective, the guards were abusive and pugnacious towards the prisoners, which led to an outbreak of psychosomatic disorders and a mental breakdown.

After the prisoners began revolting, the guards became more aggressive, and the prisoners became depressed and anxious. Two prisoners were released after three days, and one suffered from severe psychological problems. Two more prisoners were released on day four, but one went on a hunger strike. While his hunger strike was unsuccessful, the guards force-fed him and forced him to eat. The prisoner was then put in a dark closet and the guards grew more aggressive.

Prisoners adapted to their roles

The Stanford Prison Experiment was a psychological experiment in which prisoners were placed into roles and rewarded for them. This study is still popular today and is the basis of many movies and psychology textbooks. It was originally conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram, who is famous for his famous obedience experiment. Zimbardo aimed to extend Milgram's research and test the impact of situational factors on human behavior. To do so, he set up a mock prison in the basement of Stanford University. He recruited 24 undergraduates to act as guards and prisoners.

The prisoners adapted to their roles in the Stanford Prison Experiment by adopting the 'Professional' staff mode, which involved routine coercion. Some prisoners developed a host of mental breakdown symptoms while acting in the role, but none suffered long-term harm.

Prisoners in the Stanford Prison Experiment were exposed to three distinct types of guards, each with different personalities. Some were more assertive and dominant, while others were submissive. As a result, some prison guards adapted more readily to the role they played than others.

Prisoners were required to wear smocks and were not allowed to wear underwear. They were also required to wear an ankle chain to remind them that they were in prison. They were provided with simple bedding and food. The prison guards had their own schedules, but Zimbardo was the prison warden and observed how the prisoners behaved.

Prison guards exhibited "genuine sadistic tendencies"

For decades, it has been a mystery why prison guards behave as they do. The experiment was designed to test whether guards had "genuine sadistic tendencies" or not. The experiment was conducted in a prison in New York, and the results were shocking. Approximately one third of the prison guards were found to have "sadistic tendencies," according to Zimbardo.

As the experiment went on, the experimenters observed that guards grew more cruel to prisoners. They used physical punishment, such as solitary confinement, and even denied prisoners their mattresses and toilet facilities. Some guards even began to become "sadistic" while performing their job. After six days, one-third of the guards were determined to exhibit "genuine sadistic tendencies" and were upset when the experiment was terminated.

Throughout the experiment, the guards were given wooden batons, uniforms, and mirrored sunglasses. They soon began to use psychological tactics to control the prisoners. The guards were not supervised by the research staff, so they were allowed to perform this illegitimate behavior. Moreover, the prison guards forced the prisoners to urinate in buckets and refused to let them empty the bucket.

Prison guards exhibited "genuine" sadistic tendencies when they subjected prisoners to horrific treatment. These guards were believed to have "mental problems" before taking up the position of prison guard. Consequently, they acted like the characters in prison movies.

October 05, 2022




Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Verified writer

MichaelR is one of the best writers in my opinion who is not only skilled as a writer but a great explainer. He has helped me nail down my Psychology task. A great person I shall approach again!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro

Similar Categories