Who is Philip Zimbardo?
• The “voice and face of contemporary
• Presently, an Emeritus professor at Stanford
University, professor since 1968.
• Has a PBS-TV series “Discovering
•His new book has been a New York Times
bestseller: THE LUCIFER EFFECT:
UNDERSTANDING HOW GOOD PEOPLE
• The man determined to find out why atrocities
happen like the Holocaust, The Genocide in
Rwanda through his Stanford Prison
• Involved his choosing randomly selected
healthy, normal college students to pretend to
be either prisoners or guards in what was
planned to be a two-week study in human
behavior under intense conditions.
The Stanford Experiment
• Tested both inmates and guards and their
response to captivity in harsh conditions.
– Observed the behavioral effects
• Conducted in 1971
• “mock prison” in the basement of Stanford
University psychology building.
• Shows inmate-guard interaction in the prison
and the aftermath affects on the prisoners.
• Video 2- Features Zimbardo and inmates and
his explanation of the Stanford Experiment.
• Substitute: Youtube>
Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment
• To test the hypothesis that “prison guards and
convicts were self-selecting of a certain
disposition that would naturally lead to poor
• 21 males of good health were chosen to
– Most psychologically stable.
– White middle class
• Zimbardo was superintendent, undergrad
research assistant was the warden
• Guards-wooden batons and khaki military uniform.
– Sunglasses were worn to prevent eye contact
• Guards worked in shifts and were permitted to return
home and to their daily routines in between.
• Prisoners- ill-fitting muslin smocks, no underwear and
rubber thong sandals.
– Would force them discomfort and lead to increased
• No names were used, referred to by numbers.
– Pantyhose worn on head to replicate shaven heads.
– Chains around feet-constant reminder of
• Guards were allowed to run the prison in any
matter wishes as long as there was no physical
• 1/3 of guards displayed expected or
“genuine” aggressive behaviors.
• Many of the prisoners became
emotionally traumatized eventually
leading to being removed from
• Zimbardo shocked by the increase of
abusive behavior of the inmates,
concluded the entire experiment
earlier than anticipated.
Behind the Scenes
• Forced exercise
• Prison became dirty and inhospitable
• Some prisoners were forced to sleep
naked with no mattress.
• Forced nudity and sexual humiliation.
• Only privileged to go to the bathroom.
• Ended on August 20,1971-6 days after it
began. ( intended to last 14)
• “ said to support situational attributions of
behavior rather than dispositional
– Basically saying the environment and
conditions caused their results not each
Ethical Issues clip 6 minutes
Summary of Experiment 2 minutes
• I personally believe that the Stanford
Experiment is a violation of personal rights
regardless of if the individuals agreed or
• It is unknown and ill-determined to predict
what exactly would happen behind closed
• Did not prove or explain the reasons
behind major atrocities