The Power of RolesThe Zimbardo StudyThe Zimbardo study (1971) (also called the Stanford Prison Study) considers the behavior of mature, stable, intelligent, middle-class college students who were asked to play roles. Twenty-four students were paid $15 dollars a day.The 24 students were randomly assigned to two groups. Half were asked to play the role of prison guards. The other half were asked to play the role of prisoners. Once groups assignments were made, the Palo Alto police literally arrested the students, whom Zimbardo defined as prisoners. They put them through the whole incarceration process as if they were real prisoners (e.g., the were picked up, booked, finger printed, and placed in a holding cell). At this point the "prisoners" were blind folded, their cloths were taken from them, and they were transported to Zimbardo's labs at Stanford. At this point the "guards" of Zimbardo's project took over (Zimbardo, 1971).The student-guards were told that they had to make the student-prisoners loose their since of identity (e.g., college student) and accept their new identity as prisoner. Guards
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