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Applying Psychology to Real World Issues

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Applying Psychology to Real World Issues Abu Ghraib prison was based in Iraq after the 2003 Iraq war. American armed forces were in charge of the prison where soldiers acted as prison guards over the Iraqi prisoners. After a few years, the sadistic torture of the prisoners became known to the world after Manadel Al-Jamadi was murdered whilst being interrogated. Images were published of the humiliation and assault the prisoners had experienced under the rule of the American soldiers. This involved the soldiers pouring phosphoric acid on detainees, sodomising them with batons, having venomous snakes bite them, shooting them for minor misbehaviours and in one known case, inflicting pain on unhealed gunshot wounds with such force that it could not heal properly afterwards. ...read more.


Furthermore, Armin Cruz stated that 'the abuse was condoned by commanders.' By transferring responsibility, obedience rates become higher as shown in the findings of Milgram's shock experiment in 1963. By stating that the prisoner abuse was overlooked by commanders, Cruz transferred the responsibility away from himself and portrayed the fact that it was because of this the abuse continued. The psychological process of conformity was also shown when Lynndie Rana England gave her defence. When referring to Charles Graner, she stated: 'I did everything he wanted me to do.' Additionally, she also referred to another soldier, Ivan Frederick, when she stated '...they were really persistent about it.' Sabrina Harman also showed evidence of conforming and standing by apathy when letters she had written home were published by her family. ...read more.


and were then taken to a makeshift prison. The experiment was stopped after six days because the guards had begun to sadistically torture the prisoners. Also, there was evidence of psychological harm in some prisoners. This study closely resembles the prisoner abuses that occurred at Abu Ghraib. In addition to this, it is possible that the American soldiers at Abu Ghraib acknowledged their 'seniority' and 'authority' over the Iraqi prisoners and this led to the abuse. On the other hand, there are issues with this research. Certain procedures were undertaken which prevent it from being applied fully to the real-world issue. In the Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo initiated procedures such as making prisoners wear women's clothing, not allowing them to wear underwear, look out windows or use their real names. As there is no evidence of any of this happening at Abu Ghraib, it limits the amount of relevance the study has towards the prisoner abuse which occurred. ...read more.

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