Zimbardo - conformity to social roles

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  • Zimbardo - conformity to social roles
    • The stanford prison experiment
      • Mock prison set up in stanford uni and was planned to last two weeks
        • It was terminated after six days
      • Volunteering males students were psychologically and physically screened and randomly assigned to play either a guard or a prisoner
      • Prisoners were arested at home and were deloused on arrival, given a uniform and assigned ID numbers
        • Guards referred to the prisoners by these numbers throughout the experiment
        • Prisoners were allowed certain rights, including three meals a day and three supervised toilet trips a day and two visits a week.
      • Guards were given uniforms, clubs, whistles and wore sunglasses to prevent eye contact
      • Zimbardo took part as the superintendent
      • F = guards grew increasing abusive towards prisoners - bare hand toilet cleaning
        • F = PPT's forgot it was a study as they conformed to their role - prisoners asked for parole rather than withdrawing
          • F = 5 relased early because of extreme reactions - started after two days
        • F = guards became increasing cruel and sadistic and prisoners became passive andd accepting of their plight
    • BBC prison study
      • Ran the same study and found that ppts didnt conform automatically to their assigned roles
        • The guards failed to identify their roles, which made them reluctant to to impose authority on prisoners
        • prisoners formed a group and went agaisnt guards
        • Shift in power = collapse of the prisoner guard system
        • 15 male, divided into 5 groups of three people - 1 guard : 2 prisoners
    • Ethics
      • PPts experienced emotional distress
        • Carried out debrreifing sessions for several years after and concluded no lasting negative effects
    • Control over variables
      • Controlled varaibale are: emotional individuals picked - ruled out individual personality differences as an explanations of the findings
        • Increases the internal validity
    • Abu Ghraib soliders
      • Guards of iraqi soliders became abusive - situational factors, lack of training, boredom


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