Assignment#1 - Assignment #1 Sean Thornton UMID#: 80503307...

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Assignment #1 Sean Thornton UMID#: 80503307 9/17/09
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80503307 Over the past couple of decades, there have been several groundbreaking studies done that have dramatically influenced the face of psychology as we perceive it today. One of these case famous case studies involves the work of Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his “Stanford Prison Study.” Dr. Zimbardo tried to prove his theory that human behavior can be controlled by the surrounding environment in conducting his own study that would mimic life in prison. Another groundbreaking case study that altered the face of psychology would be the John/Joan case. This study allowed the theory of “gender neutrality at birth” (Sex: Unknown, 2001) to surface and gave researchers the idea that human hormones and chromosomes don’t control the sex of a newborn. Just recently, these studies have resurfaced to the American public due to several current events. In particular, Dr. Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Study” has been linked to the torture of prisoners in Iraq at Abu Ghraib prison. One groundbreaking study that changed the face of psychology today was Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Study.” In testing his belief that “the environment around you, the situation, often determines how you behave more strongly than who you are” (Hock, 2008), Zimbardo created a “virtual” prison at Stanford University to conduct his research. Even though the researchers, including Zimbardo, “did not formulate any specific hypotheses” (Hock, 2008), that is, any tentative explanation for their belief based on certain observations, they still decided to conduct their study. Placing an ad in local newspapers, Zimbardo found several participants who were willing to participate. Zimbardo used random assignment to choose which participants would become guards and which would become prisoners. Random assignment is defined as the use of chance procedures in psychology experiments to ensure that each participant has the same
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80503307 opportunity to be assigned to any given group. Quite simply, this method assigned the
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This note was uploaded on 12/28/2010 for the course PSYCH 111 taught by Professor Schreier during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Assignment#1 - Assignment #1 Sean Thornton UMID#: 80503307...

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