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Reicher and Haslam (2006)
Rethinking the psychology of
The BBC prison study.…read more

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Social Identity Theory
People who identify with one group with discriminate against other groups.
Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment
· Aim: To investigate the effects of being assigned to the role of either a prison guard or prisoner.
· 24 men, self-selected, judged to be the most physically and mentally stable etc ..
· Simulated prison ­ basement of the psychology building at Stanford University.
· The uniforms of both prisoners and guards were to increase group identity and reduce
individuality within the two groups.
· Guards' Uniform ­ Plan shirt and trousers, whistle, a wooden baton and reflecting sunglasses.
· Prisoners' Uniform ­ loose fitting smock, identification no. on the front and back, no
underwear, rubber sandals, light chain and lock around their ankle.
· The behaviour of the `normal' students was affected by their role, even to the extent that they
believed their allocated positions.
· Guards became more verbally and physically aggressive; was described as pathology of power.
· The prisoners became increasingly depersonalised and experienced extreme emotional
depression, rage etc ...
· The experiment had to be stopped after six days instead of the planned 14 because of the
reactions of the participants.
· Zimbardo argued that the study demonstrated the powerful effect roles can have on peoples'
behaviour.…read more

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Differences between Zimbardo's and Riecher and Haslam's Study
· Zimbardo's study is more un-ethical (physical aggression was used by the guards in Zimbardo's
study wheras in Riecher and Haslam, the guards were forbidden from using physcial
· In Riecher and Haslam, the guards didn't have a shared social identity.
Similarities between Zimbardo's and Riecher and Haslam's Study
· Tyranny was demonstrated in both studies (after the commune broken down; military takeover)
But Zimbardo's had more tyranny.
· They both used male prisoners
· They both used mock prisons…read more

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Aim (Core Study)
"to create an institution which resembled a hierarchical institution to
investigate the behaviour of groups that were unequal in terms of power,
status and resources."
· To provide data on the unfolding interactions between groups of unequal power &
· To analyse conditions that lead individuals to: identify with their group and accept or
challenge intergroup inequalities.
· Examine role of social/organisational/clinical factors e.g. mood, in group behaviour
· To develop practical * ethical guidelines for examining social psychological issues in
studies.…read more

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15 Male participants were recruited through advertisements (from 332 applicants)
Self-selected Sample.
They were screened to ensure they were not vulnerable or a risk to others
Reduced to 15 after 2 phases of screening:
- Psychometric tests
- Full weekend of assessment by independent clinical psychologists
- Medical & character references obtained/police checks conducted.
Only well adjusted & pro-social people included
They ensured diversity of age/social class/ethnic background of participants
Matched on three aspects of personality: Racism, Dominance and Authoritarianism.
Randomly assigned to be guards (5) or prisoners (10)…read more

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Method and Design
· Experimental Case Study
· Controlled Observation
· Repeated Measures Design
· Time-series approach = introduces IV's over time…read more

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