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The Stanford prison experiment was conducted in 1971 by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a psychology professor at Stanford University. 24 male students were selected to participate in a social psychology experiment, a mock prison at Stanford University. All the students were paid $15 every day. By flipping a coin, half of the students were to take on the role of guards and the other half were supposed to be prisoners. Zimbardo took on the role of a prison superintendent. The only instruction the guards were given to keep the prisoners in order was to not physically hurt anyone. However, that didn’t last long. All the prisoners were given a number to identify with, stripped naked and given the same dress to wear. In the beginning, the guards mainly used verbal torture, but soon it escalated to physical torture. The experiment that was supposed to go on for 2 weeks, ended after only 6 days because of the guards’ actions and the prisoners suffering. The character, Daniel Culp, better known as prisoner 8612, is the first prisoner who resists the authority of the guards. In the beginning of the film, Daniel is not taking the experiment seriously, he doesn’t follow the guards rule because he knows that the guards can not physically hurt anyone. However, the constant taunting makes Daniel mad and he enters an altercation with the guards. This only further provokes the guards to hit Daniel. The first physical abuse started with Daniel, when one of the guards punched Daniel, it caused Daniel to fight back. While all the other prisoners were complying with the guards, Daniel is the first one to fight the authority. Furthermore, it was Daniel’s idea to form an alliance with other prisoners to fight back with the guards. Daniel doesn’t like being powerless, but the more he resists the more he is feeding into the authority that is against him. This film was very revealing about human nature. During this experiment, once the guards were given their whistles, and the prisoners were dressed in the same dress, they all changed without even noticing. This film shows the dark and threatening side of human nature. The students, at first, took their roles as a joke and thought it would be an easy way to earn money. However, once the guards realized the power they had, they started abusing it and became sadistic.The guards started acting and believing that they were real-life guards. The prisoners became submissive and started to believe that they deserve to be in prison. The prisoners wouldn’t speak-up when asked how they were being treated. Even though the guards were students, once they put on their uniforms, it put them into a state of mind where they had all the power. I think this film was greatly executed and I would recommend it to other people. The actors resembled a lot like the real people who were involved in the experiment, especially Zimbardo. I find it very interesting that even though everyone knew this was a mock prison experiment, they all gave into the power. Even Zimbardo, who orchestrated this experiment, became involved. Throughout the experiment, the guards and prisoners were on surveillance by Zimbardo and his graduate team. They saw all the physical abuse and knew that the guards were breaking the contract. Still, Zimbardo did not want to stop this experiment until his wife told him what he was doing was not ethical. This film does a great job of showing how even the most normal person can become drunk on power. The Stanford prison experiment shows the ingroup bias, the idea to favor one’s own group, an us vs them situation. The prisoners and the guards both complied with the ingroup bias. The prisoners were formed a group of their own to fight the guards and similarly, the guards formed their own group to keep the prisoners in check. This film is also a perfect example for deindividuation. The guards lose all sense of responsibility and self-awareness and feel a sense of anonymity since they were all in a group. The guards started the abuse and continued their abuse because they were acting as a group. Obedience is also seen,at least in the first half of the film, because the guards are wearing the same uniform. The uniform shows authority and therefore the prisoners were obeying the guards.

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