-To provide data on the unfolding interactions between groups of unequal power and privilage
-To analyse the conditions that lead individuals to (i) identify with thier group , (ii) accept or challenge intergroup
- To examine the roles of social, organisational and clincial factors ( e.g. mood) in group behaviour
- To develop pratical and ethical guidelines for examining social psychological issues in large-scale studies
Method; The study is experimental because interventions (IVs) were introduced at spefic points in the study to observe the effects. It is also a case study because the behaviour of only one group was observed.
Independant Variables day three; Permability - Participants belief about the permability of groups boundaries. At the start all participants were told that all participants were selected on the basis of their reliability , trustworthiness and initiative as measured by the pre-selection tests. They were told that if they demonstrated these traits, they could be promoted to guard. This is no longer possible.
Day 6; Legitmacy - Participants were informed that in fact there was no difference in qualitives between prisoners and guards but it would be impractical to change back.
day 7; Cognitive alternatives- a new prisoner was introduced from the orginal pool of participants. He was choosen because there was a trade union offical and he would introduce alternative plans of action, based on ideas of group neogotion and equal rights
The same prisoners were used for each of these conditons, the study therefore was a repeated-measures design
Dependant Variables -
"Social Variables " -Social identification, Awareness of alternative plans of action , Right-wing authoritarianism
"Organisational Variables" Complaince with rules
"Clincial Variables" Self-Efficacy, Depression, Stress Hormones
These features were measured in a vairety of ways, including
-The prison was designed in a such a way that participants that could be video and audio recorded wherever they were
-Daily psychometric testing
- Daily swabs of saliva