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Rieley SchneiderResearch MethodsEthics ProjectFebruary 11, 2019Zimbardo’s Prison Study: Review on Ethical ValueIntroductionIn 1971 a study was conducted byCraigHaney,CurtisBanks, andPhilipZimbardocalledA Study of Prisoners and Guards in a Simulated Prison.They aimed toseek outinvestigatewhy prison conditions were the way they were. To answer this a dispositional hypothesis was putin place. Which can simply be explained as, the cruel environment created in prisons is not dueto the structure or the prison itself it is created because the people who inhabit it are “badpeople”. This includes both corrupt guards who may be sadistic or insensitive and prisoners whodisregard authority and laws and who do not function well in society or a prison setting. In anattempt to find answers about this hypothesis a simulated jail was created in the basement ofStanford University.MethodThe study included 24 participants who were college males that aimed to represent anormal population. Participants were randomly assigned the role of “guard” or “prisoner” tocreate 12 guards and 12 prisoners. This was the only manipulated variable in the study. Thedependent variables being studied included observing how the participants interacted with oneanother by means of video and audio recordings and by direct observation of their interactions.
The other dependent variable being measured was the reactions of each participant by differentmethods of self-report and interviews, such as questionnaires, mood inventories, personalitytests, daily guard shift reports, and post-experimental interviews (Hanley, Banks, & Zimbardo,1971, p. 240).ResultsThe study resulted in negative reactions and behavior from both the guards and theprisoners. It showed how influential roles of power can be on both groups of participants. Thestudy was shut down after 6 days because of the mental state of the participants, when the studywas originally planned for two weeks. It showed that both groups of participants hadincreasingly negative outlooks and their behavior matched that. Guardsbehavior grew more

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Term
Spring
Professor
N/A
Tags
Stanford prison experiment, Informed consent, Dr P G Zimbardo, Ethical Evaluation of Study

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