Video of the Stanford Prison Experiment

Alex blogged a Mental Floss post a few weeks ago that mentioned Philip Zimbardo's infamous early-seventies Stanford Prison Experiment, where students acting as prisoners and guards took their roles to psychologically damaging heights, punishing and rebelling against one another. This old documentary features actual footage from the "jail" in the basement of the psychology building. Is it fascinating, bizarre, funny, horrifying, or all of the above?

Punish the play button or go to YouTube


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This experiment is useless as far as application of observed data. So is psychology and psychiatry for that matter neither of which has helped mankind.

It is interesting to see how people love to play a game; no matter how debased and degraded that game is - in this case prisoner and prison guard.
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I'm a psychology major and this experiment is one of my favorites despite it's incredibly unethical nature. Watching Zimbardo host Discovering Psychology made me want to be a psychologist!
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One of the prisoners in the experiment who pretended he was insane to leave early ended up becoming so interested in psychology afterwards that he began studying psychology at uni and is now a prison psychologist!
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I think the best quote that can easily sum up the experiment and it's outcome is:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, if you want to test a man's character give him power." By Abraham Lincoln.

I'm sure the Guards ended up being outstanding citizens. Yeah right.
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