Mr Brian Storm – Stanford Prison Experiment

After having analysed a specific chapter (The Power of Context pt.1) From Gladwell’s book ‘The Tipping Point’, as part of our design studies lectures we have to further our research into our chosen chapter. I have decided to look into and investigate the Standford prison experiments.

The prison experiments were conducted in the psychology building of Standford University in 1971, by professor Philip Zimbardo.  Twenty-one undergraduates were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Roles were assigned randomly. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond what even Zimbardo himself expected, leading the guards to display authoritarian measures and ultimately to subject some of the prisoners to torture. In turn, many of the prisoners developed passive attitudes and accepted physical abuse, and, at the request of the guards, readily inflicted punishment on other prisoners who attempted to stop it.