Conformity To Social Roles

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Briefly explain the the procedure of the Stanford Prison Experiment
Mock prison with 24 people. Unexpectedly arrested, uniforms, only to be known by ID number, 3 meals a day, 3 SUPERVISED toilet trips a day, 2 visits a week. Guards got glasses, clubs, whistles. Zimbardo-prison superintendent. Planned to last 2 weeks
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Who conducted this key study and when?
Zimbardo, Haney et al - 1973
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How did the guards act in the experiment?
Guards became abusive and cruel, made them carry out degrading activities such as waking them up at night and making them wash toilets with their bare hands. Guards offered to work extra hours with no pay.
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How did this affect the prisoners?
Guards and prisonets conformed even when not being watched - one prisoner asked for parole to leave the experiment. 5 prisoners had to be released early due to their reactions e.g crying,raging and anxiety. It was terminated after 6 days
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What were the findings of the study?
Zimbardo's wife - Maslach had to intervene to stop the study because Zimbardo was too involved. The study demonstrated how both guards and prisoners conformed to their social roles - guards became cruel and prisoners became passive.
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Briefly explain the procedure of the BBC prison study
15 male participants, 5 groups of 3 matched on personality. 1 guard/2 prisoners. They randomly assigned men to the role or prisoner or guard. The study was run for 8 days.
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Briefly outline the findings of this study
The participants did not conform automatically, the guards failed to identify whereas the prisoners identified as a group. This led to the collapse of the prisoner-guard system.
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EVALUATION: Conformity to roles is not automatic
Zimbardo believed that guards drifting into sadistic behaviour was autonomous. However, there were a few 'good' guards. Haslam and Reicher argue this shows guards chose how to act
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EVALUATION: Were these studies ethical?
Zimbardo's study was believed to be ethical because it folllowed the guidelines of the Standford University Ethics committee. No deception. Zimbardo acknoweldges he should have stopped it sooner
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Who conducted this key study and when?

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Zimbardo, Haney et al - 1973

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How did the guards act in the experiment?

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Card 4

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How did this affect the prisoners?

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Card 5

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What were the findings of the study?

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