Critique of Psychological Experiments and Subjects

Essay by rockstone100College, UndergraduateB, May 2010

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Amponsah 1

Richard Amponsah

Professor Pecqueur

English 125

11 April, 2007

Critique of Psychological Experiments and Subjects

There are many problems left unsolved. I know you may be wondering and asking, what are some of these problems. Well, have you ever asked yourself why certain people are made prisoners and guards? From the past to the present, people still remained in correctional authorities. In America, for instance, we are spoiled by the individual freedom and this allows people to do things drastically. I am not saying that individual's right is totally wrong, but how can we understand why people dramatically changed when given certain power. Should we resist tolerable dehumanizing authoritarian and power left them unsolved? Well, at least this is what Zimbardo came to think of and tried to find the root to authoritarianism. He is a psychologist who did an ingenious experiment "The Stanford Prison Experiment" by making a significant approach to understand human behavior base on authoritarian situation in a prison environment.

However, he made several mistakes by oversimplying many aspects of his experiment. Therefore his conclusion is invalid.

The primarily goal in undertaking the mock prison experiment was "to study the effects of imprisonment upon volunteer research" (Zimbardo, 345). Zimbardo wanted to learn how prisoners and guards resist against one another. He further profiled that those called "prisoners' lose their liberty, civil rights, privacy while those called "guards' gain social power by accepting the responsibility for controlling and managing the lives of their independent charges" (345). With this in mind, Zimbardo placed an ad in a local newspaper to find subjects for his experiment. These subjects were sample of average, middle class, Caucasian, college-age males and one oriented Asian student. The above radical groups of ten prisoners and eleven guards were also emotionally stabled, physically...