Stanford Prison Experiment due 4/17

Answer the following questions on the Stanford Prison Experiment

1. What police procedures are used during arrests, and how do these procedures lead people to feel confused, fearful, and dehumanized?

2. Was it ethical to do this study? Was it right to trade the suffering experienced by participants for the knowledge gained by the research?

3. What prevented "good guards" from objecting or countermanding the orders from tough or bad guards?

4. If you were a prisoner, would you have been able to endure the experience? What would you have done differently than those subjects did? If you were imprisoned in a "real" prison for five years or more, could you take it?

Choose one of the following, put the letter next to your answer:

A. What is "reality" in a prison setting? This study is one in which an illusion of imprisonment was created, but when do illusions become real? Contrast consensual reality and physical or biological reality, and explain the implications of the following poem (by PGZ):

Within the illusion of life, Death is the only reality,
But is Reality the only death?
Within the reality of imprisonment,
Illusion is the only freedom,
But is Freedom the only illusion?

B. What is identity? Is there a core to your self-identity independent of how others define you? How difficult would it be to remake any given person into someone with a new identity?

C. After the study, how do you think the prisoners and guards felt when they saw each other in the same civilian clothes again and saw their prison reconverted to a basement laboratory hallway?

D. Moving beyond physical prisons built of steel and concrete, what psychological prisons do we create for ourselves and others? 


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