He gave them a sort of template for behaving in particular ways He said what

He gave them a sort of template for behaving in

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instructed them. He gave them a sort of template for behaving in particular ways. He said, what we're going to do is we're going to take away the prisoners' individuality in various ways. We're going to make them feel powerless. And so on. And so he had he very clearly had a kind of a plan. And he exposed his guards to the plan. And I think, really, the study then is much less about mindless conformity and much more about what we call engaged followership . So the participants who'd come along to take part in Zimbardo's study identified with him and his project. They said, what can we do for this project? What's our role? And he told them what was basically what they were looking for. And to the extent that they identified with him and that mission, they got with it. But actually, again, what you see is some did and some didn't . I mean, so actually, and you see this in other kinds of settings, you know, where groups engage in acts of brutality. Some people are pretty enthusiastic about that. But other people withdraw completely from it. So the idea you haven't got any choice, you're just bound up, and you must inevitably conform is, frankly, nonsense . So what is going on, we argue-- and actually it's similar to the point we made in relation to the Milgram's studies that we talked about earlier is that actually the key process here is one of identification. If you identify with the leadership, if you identify with the mission, then you engage with the tasks that you have. And you do so, perhaps, enthusiastically and creatively. You don't actually conform. Actually you're much more sort of like, what do I do, follow orders. No, you say what is it that I'm being looked for. And so you go beyond kind of those kinds of expectations. So you're an enthusiastic, engaged participant. And that's, indeed, what you see in kind of real world settings. If you look at something like Abu Ghraib in Iraq, firstly you see that variability. It wasn't the case that everybody brutalized the prisoners. Very far from it. Some people did. But some people didn't want anything to do with it. But also, those people who did, identified with a particular model of leadership and what they thought they were meant to be doing there . And more particularly, they were very clear about what they were doing. They were not thoughtless or blind or mindless. No, they were happy about what they were doing. If you remember, the pictures that come out of that are of the soldiers with their thumbs up, smiling at the camera, pleased with what they'd done because they thought they'd done something great for a great cause. Of course we, from a different perspective, see things very differently. BLAKE MCKIMMIE : It's interesting. If you look at the video that there is of the Zimbardo study, like he actually seems to do a lot to build that sense of identity . He's got them in these small meetings, where they're all in a small space together. And he's sort of talking about the sorts of things that they need to do to the prisoners.
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