The Infamous Stanford Prison Experiment

This infamous experiment to plumb the depths of evil in human hearts ended up affecting its lead researcher as much as its subjects. Psychologist Philip Zimbardo divided his participants into two groups labeled “prisoners” and “guards.” It was conducted in a mock-up prison in a Stanford University basement. The prisoners were subjected to arrest, strip search, de-lousing, head shaving and other abuses. The guards were given clubs.

The prisoners rebelled on the second day, and the reaction of the guards was swift and brutal. Before long, the prisoners were behaving meekly and with blind obedience, while the guards fully embraced their roles by taunting and abusing their charges. This one might be scientific confirmation of the idea that humans harbor evil tendencies. The planned 14-day experiment was halted after only 6 days due to increasing levels of abuse.

2 thoughts on “The Infamous Stanford Prison Experiment

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