Reicher and Haslam (2006) - BBC prison study

Reicher and Halslam BBC prison study

  • Created by: rebecca
  • Created on: 03-06-11 17:45

Reicher and Haslam (2006) - The BBC prison study

Controlled observation in a mock prison which was filmed for television.

P's - 15 male vounteers who had responsed to an advert, They were randomly assigned to 2 groups of 5 guards and 10 prisoners.

Daily tests were done to measure depression, compliance with rules and stress.

The prisoners knew that one of them would be chosen at random to become a guard after 3 days.

An ethics comitee had the power to stop the eperiment at any time for the protection of the participants.

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The results...

The guards failed to sorm a united group. hey felt uncomfortable with the inequality of the situation.

After the 3 days when one of the prisoners had been promoted the grou of prisoners became a stonger group.

The unequal system collapsed due to the unwillingness of the guards and the strength of the prisoners.

On day 6 the prisoners rebelled and lived in a democracy, this collapsed due to tensions in the group.

The study was abandoned early on the advice comitee, as the participants showed signs of stress.

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The participants didnt fit into their expected social roles, suggesting that these roles are fexible.

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In contrast to Zimbardo's findings Reicher and Haslam's prisoners were a stong group and the guards were weak - This may be because Reicher and Haslams guards weren't as empowered as Zmbardo's who were encouraged to maintain order.

The study was made for TV - the P's may have played up to the camera's.

Artificial situation -  results cannot be generalised to real life.

No ethical issues - P's were not decieved, they gave informed consent. They were protected by the ethics comitee amd were debriefed and counselled after the experiment.

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