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Zimbardo's prison experiment

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Zimbardo's prison experiment Zimbardo used a prison stimulation to investigate to what extent people would conform to new social roles when they took part in a role-playing exercise. Zimbardo used 25 male volunteers, judged to be both physically and mentally healthy, and allocated randomly to the roles of prisoners or guards. ...read more.


There were three 'guards' who wore khaki skirts and trousers, dark glasses and carried wooden batons. The guards were permitted to devise most rules (though no psychical aggression was allowed) conformed to their perceived roles. Although Zimbardo intended the study to last for two weeks, he had to abandon the study after six days. ...read more.


Criticisms Savin believed that 'the ends did not justify the means' in this study. Even though the study has had a great deal of impact on the way in which prisons (and mental institutions) are run and the film of the study is used in the training of prison officers. The reality of this study contributed greatly to the distress experienced by participants. Zimbardo claimed that studies as this are criticized because the 'open our eyes' to the possibilities that all of us are capable of conformity to destructive social roles. ...read more.

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