The Stanford Prison Experiment

By: Admir Jahic, Katy Moore, Chris Brooks, Robert Jones

Summary

The experiment was on 24 undergraduate students at the Stanford University Psychology Building. Students would act either as a guard or a prisoner and they would do this for two weeks time. The psychologists wanted to see how a situation would effect human behavior and their mind.

The Positives and the Negatives

The pros of the experiment were that the psychologists learned how a situation can effect human behavior and how people abuse power when it is given to them. The negatives were that the participants who were the prisoners were very stressed out and had a lot of anxiety. Also, how humans become when they are higher rank/power.

The Main Point/Was it carried out ethically?

The main point of the experiment was to see how a situation and a person's role in the situation would effect their human behavior.


The experiment was not carried out ethically because there were no guidelines for the people taking part in it and there weren't any rules for the people who were participating. Also, the participants were not protected from risks they would go through and the people participating couldn't withdraw from the experiment whenever they wanted.

The Stanford Prison Experiment - Official Trailer I HD I IFC Films

Opinion/How this experiment changed the field of psychology?

In our opinion the outcomes of this experiment weren't justified because there weren't any guidelines to be followed or rules. The participants did whatever they wanted without any rules to be followed. This would cause the experiment to be skewed because of the actions of the participants making it unreliable.


The experiment changed the field of psychology by leading to the recognition of ethical guidelines. After this experiment studies must now go under serious evaluation to make sure every experiment is safe and ethical.