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PSY207 Social Psychology

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PSY207 Social Psychology

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PSY207 Social Psychology

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Course Code: PSY207
University: University Of Tasmania is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia

Why did the prisoners in the Stanford Country prison decide to revolt? What were there reasons for not following the rules?
When one guard (“John Wayne”) began treating the prisoners badly, why didn’t the other guards speak up?
How did the guards treat the prisoners who were acting defiantly? Does this happen in society outside of a prison setting? Give an example.
If you were a prisoner, would you be able to endure the experience? What would you have done differently that the subjects did? 

The Stanford Prison experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo in 1971 remains to be the most awful and unethical study in the socio-psychology field. The study was meant to establish the potential conflicts between the guards and prisoners. The prisoners in the experiment were submitted to horrible conditions, maltreated, physically assaulted and verbally abused (HeroicimaginationTV). These were the key reason why they decided to revolt. They did not expect that the experiment would be so unfair for them. For instance, they were arrested by individuals from the real police department. Upon the arrest, they were directed to the prison where they were stripped naked. They were ripped off their freedom though it was only a mere experiment. The guards chained their legs and gave them prison identification numbers. The prisoners felt dehumanized since the first day of their arrest. As thus, the launched protestations on the second day of their arrest; they cursed the prison guards, locked themselves in the cell and did away with identification numbers. They refused to adhere to the rules because there was no rule stating the role of each person in the experiment (Griggs 201). The guards were up to torture them to the extent of forbidding them from laughing. Essentially, all the atrocities leveled against the prisoners were not in adherence with the rules established by the prison guards.
When John Wayne started mistreating the prisoners, the other guards gave it a blind eye. He wanted to establish the extent to which the prisoners would bear the maltreatment. The other guards did not have the power to question him. He had the power and power is a critical dimension in social stratification. The only person who had authority above him was Dr. Zimbardo who allowed him to continue with the torture (Bartels 42). He had given Wayne the powers to act up to this extreme. Additionally, the other guards liked what Wayne did to the prisoners and later joined him.
The defiant prisoners were placed in a dark and confined space. The guards would force them to clean the toilet bowls with their hands bare without gloves. They were humiliated in front of the others and were not given blankets to cover themselves. The guards would at times cover their heads with polythene bags (Kulig and Pratt 78). Worse enough, these maltreatments are still prevalent in the 21st-century societies. Such cases are mainly reported in less developed countries. The world returns out to be so unfair to those who experience these maltreatments. For instance, such cases are repetitively reported in Africa. Housemaids are major victims as they are at times subjected to horrible treatments. In some houses, the maids are not allowed to take any food apart from the left-overs. They are in some cases submitted to a constant beating by their bosses. The children in the household also take a role in the humiliation. This is so heartbreaking especially in the cases where the maids are confiscated and have no links with their relatives.
The Stanford Experiment experience was a fully devastating event that pushed the prisoners beyond their endurance limit. If I were a prisoner would have hardly managed to survive under these extreme conditions. However, I would have devised some means to ensure that I do not experience similar treatment. I would have maintained a low profile and practice restraint while speaking to guards and fellow prisoners. I would only talk when necessary. I would try to be more responsible and submissive towards the guards. By so doing, I would gain the favor and the sympathy of the guards. I believe that this would have prompted some guards to act in my defense helping me escape maltreatment.
Bartels, Jared M. “The Stanford prison experiment in introductory psychology textbooks: A Content Analysis.” Psychology Learning & Teaching 14.3 (2015): (36–50).
Griggs, Richard A. “Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks.” Teaching of Psychology 41.3 (2014): 195-203.
Kulig, Teresa C. and Travis C Pratt. “Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: A Case Study in Organized Skepticism.” Journal of Criminal Justice Education (2016): 74-111.
The Stanford Prison Experiment. Dir. HeroicimaginationTV. 2011.

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