Stanford prison experiment (Zimbardo)

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Find out about conformity to social roles


Volunteer, psychological tests so there was 24

Type of people

Male uni students


Controlled observation. Zimbardo converted basemement of psych department in stanford uni into a mock prison. He advertised for students to play roles of guards and prisoners for 2 weeks. 75 volunteered and after psychological tests to find most psycholoically normal, 24 were chosen and paid $15 a day to take part.

Participants were randomly assigned as either prisoner or guard. There were 2 reserves and one dropped out leaving 10 prisoners and 11 guards. There was solitary confinement for prisoners to misbehave.

Prisoners treated like any other criminal, being arrested in own home without warning and being taken to local police station. They were fingerprinted, booked and photogrpahed. When they arrived at the prison they were stripped naked, had all personal belongings removed and locked away, they were also given prison smock uniforms and were…




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