Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stanford Prison Experiment (1971)

"I wanted to see what people would do when put in an Evil place" 

The Gist: Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo built a prison in the basement of Stanford University. Participants were separated into guards and prisoners. The guards quickly became cruel and the prisoners quickly became helpless. Power corrupts. Environment trumped personality. Huge debate ensued on morality of using human participants.

The Take Away:
  1. Your environment is a much more powerful influencer than any internal will (this concept is recurrent among social psychology). 
  2. The concept of Power and how it affects people, in excess and in absence. 
  3. Science is slowed down by ethics. (It is a subjective belief whether or not the slowing down of science is a good thing.

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