Friday, March 18, 2005

The Stanford Prison Experiment

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It was supposed to be a two week study into the psychology of prison life. But they had to shut the project down early. Why? Well for one, the guards became sadistic towards the prisoners...

Go to prisonexp.org to check it out for yourself. It's done in slide-show format with video and audio clips mixed in with the text. (Also, take a look at the eerie similarities between this experiment and the Abu Gharib prisoner abuse.)

Here's an excerpt:

Paying Them Back

The rumor of the prison break turned out to be just a rumor. It never materialized. Imagine our reaction! We had spent an entire day planning to foil the escape, we begged the police department for help, moved our prisoners, dismantled most of the prison -- we didn't even collect any data that day. How did we react to this mess? With considerable frustration and feelings of dissonance over the effort we had put in to no avail. Someone was going to pay for this.

The guards then escalated very noticeably their level of harassment, increasing the humiliation they made the prisoners suffer...


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More on the Stanford Prison Experiment:

Wikipedia

The BBC attempts a show based on the Stanford Prison Experiment.

'Still Powerful After All These Years'

2 Comments:

Blogger Eric said...

Fascinating! Great Post.

6:25 PM  
Blogger whosthere said...

Thanks :-)

10:28 AM  

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