An Inside Look of the Psychological Experiment of Stanford Prison


The Stanford Prison Experiment was carried out in 1971 by Philip Zimbardo. It was a psychological examine of the behavioral response to actual prison life and it revealed how strict social guidelines can affect one’s behavior (Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment). Research members were “prisoners” and “guards” in a mock jail. Zimbardo created this experiment as a result of he wished to know if the reported brutality from guards was from inhuman personalities or from the prison surroundings (McLeod 2018). For example, some prisoners have a tough time respecting regulation enforcement whereas some guards are aggressive so there is no approach to keep away from conflict.

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Or, as a result of energy construction in the prison, prisoners and guards act up. Zimbardo predicted that the scenario in the prison is what causes folks to act out of line somewhat than the personalities (McLeod 2018). This study was alleged to final two weeks however after just six days it got here to an finish (Hopper 2018).

The guards had been acting abusive in the direction of the prisoners and compelled them to interact in degrading behaviors.

Signs of melancholy have been already seen in the prisoners and a few had experienced nervous breakdowns. On the 5th day of this experiment, Zimbardo’s girlfriend, who is a psychologist, was shocked by what she witnessed. Another girl informed him how terrible what he’s doing is (Hopper 2018). Realizing the emotional and psychological hazard of this experiment, he decided to finish the research. The Procedure Zimbardo transformed a basement at Stanford University into a mock prison. All seventy five candidates to do this experiment had been interviewed to get rid of candidates with any psychological issues, disabilities, or any drug abuse (McLeod 2018).

24 of the most mentally and bodily secure men were chosen and have been paid $15 per day of the experiment (McLeod 2018). The members were randomly chosen to both play the position of guard or prisoner in a prison-related setting. The prisoners had been arrested at their homes with no warning and taken to the police station the place they were fingerprinted, photographed, and booked (McLeod 2018).

The prisoners had been then blindfolded and transferred to the mock prison and that’s when every little thing started. Intake Arriving to the mock prison, the prisoners had been handled like any other legal; stripped naked, given prison garments, their personal issues have been taken from them, and obtained an ID number (McLeod 2018). They had been solely known for their quantity for a way to hold the prisoners anonymous. They have been all chained from one ankle and every guard had to put on special sunglasses to keep away from any eye contact with the prisoners (McLeod 2018). The guards labored about eight-hour shifts and were to do no matter was necessary to take care of legislation and order. Zimbardo didn’t allow any bodily violence. Findings McLeod (2018) acknowledged that in simply hours into the experiment, a few of the guards began harassing the prisoners. The prisoners played into their position quickly as nicely. Some would tell on the opposite or facet with the guards if they didn’t observe the foundations (McLeod 2018). The prisoners have been treated terrible by the guards. They have been taunted by insults and compelled to do pointless orders. They had physical punishments, push-ups being a standard one.

The guards would step on their back or making other prisoners sit on their back while doing the push-ups (McLeod 2018). Rebellion On day 2, the guards were surprised that the prisoners rebelled. The prisoners ripped off their numbers and put their beds in opposition to the door so the guards could not mess with them (McLeod 2018). The guards used a hearth extinguisher to break into the cells and stripped all the prisoners naked and took their beds out. The leaders of the act were sent to solidary confinement and the guards got worse with the harassment (McLeod 2018). The guards now had very agency management of the prisoners. Reactions from the prisoners McLeod (2018) stated that in lower than 36 hours into the experiment, one of many prisoners began to undergo from rage, uncontrollable crying, and disorganized thinking. After a short while of time, the prisoner started to go loopy screaming and lost all management; this is what made the psychologist notice they need to let him out (McLeod 2018).

A few more prisoners were talking to a priest and broke down crying uncontrollably. Due to all of the breakdowns and the emotions from the prisoners, that is once they stopped the experiment. The end of the experiment. Overall, Zimbardo’s Stanford jail experiment revealed how people who find themselves prisoners will conform to social roles they are anticipated to play (McLeod 2018). The prison environment undoubtedly took half in inflicting the guards to act merciless in direction of the prisoners however not considered one of the guards confirmed sadistic personalities before the experiment. Because of that, the findings support the situational clarification of habits (McLeod 2018). I don’t suppose any of the candidates anticipated to battle that much coming into this research. I hope it was eye opening for individuals who didn’t know what real world prisoners go through daily. I know it’s much more violent and brutal in actual life prison and the participants in this examine went crazy in only a few days. They didn’t even make it to per week. It’s crucial to lift awareness for the brutality in prisons and the help some prisoners need.

I can solely imagine how many mentally unstable people there are or emotionally broken individuals there are which are being harassed in there daily. Prisoners don’t deserve a simple time in prison as a outcome of they are criminals but no one must be harassed to the point the place they lose control and go crazy or turn into depressed. No one actually talks about what happens behind “closed doors” and it’s essential to get the word out to individuals so we can change it. Zimbardo’s pals were completely shocked by what they saw simply from the mock prison. If persons are treated like this in jail, it’s not going to do something good for them and they’ll proceed to be criminals on the streets. It additionally causes more psychological illness which is the final thing America wants.


McLeod, Saul. (2018) The Stanford Prison Experiment. Retrieved from

Hopper, Elizabeth. (2018) Biography from Philip Zimbardo. Retrieved from

Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. Retrieved from

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