The Stanford prions experiment

The Stanford prions experiment

The Stanford prison, is a very controversial study done in 1971. The experiment was designed to see if you put people in uniforms it dehumanize them and allows them to do crimes against there own man. This was I reaction to the Nuremberg trials and the Nazis in general.

There are quite a few problems with this experiment firstly ethical and for ecological validity. The first problem its ethical validity is that participants were put under major psychological stress, prisoner #5401 who was a leader of a rebellion, which broke out, had a metal break down. The conditions were so bad at the end of the experiment had to stop a week early. Another problem was that it took Zimbardo’s wife to tell Zimbardo that the experiment was inhumane other wise it would have gone on for a much longer period of time.

It as ecological validity problems as well due to only males were selected as participants thus if women were ever put it might change the dynamics of the experiment. Some people state that prison conditions are never this bad so I would never happen in a real prison, such as the prison didn’t have real window’s, the prisoners wore blind folds going into the prison and they were not allowed to use names. These practices would never happen in real prisons.

Overall I find this experiment terrifying unethical because during the experiment a prisoner came to mental harm and in the real world only in the most extreme circumstances these situations are never around for guards to do such cruelty.