Conforming to a role and obeying an authority figure.


The Stanford Prison Experiment - Zimbardo et al.

On a Sunday morning in August, in Palo Alto, California, a police officer swept through town picking up college students as part of a mass arrest for violation of Penal Codes 211, armed robbery and burglary, a 495 PC. The suspect was picked up at his home, charged, warned of his legal rights, spread-eagled against the police car, searched and handcuffed - often as surprised and curious neighbours looked on. The car arrived at the station, the suspect was brought inside, formally booked, again warned of his rights, finger printed, and a complete identification was made. The suspect was then taken to a holding cell where he was left blindfolded to ponder his fate and wonder what he had done to get himself into this mess.

The aim of the study was to explore the validity of the dispositional explanation - if 'ordinary' people were placed in a prison setting and some of them were designated as guards and the others were prisoners, how would they behave?


  • Male students volunteered…


No comments have yet been made