The Stanford Prison Experiment + effect on participants.
On August 20, 1971, Zimbardo announced the end of the experiment after only six days.
I ended the study prematurely for two reasons. First, we had learned through videotapes that the guards were escalating their abuse of prisoners in the middle of the night when they thought no researchers were watching and the experiment was “off.” Their boredom had driven them to ever more pornographic and degrading abuse of the prisoners.
It happened that the uniforms faded their individuality and personality. Guards feel the need to abuse of their dominance and prisoners started feel the duty to obey even if it wasn’t real.
The quotes are from the movie but were based on the real patients interview as the prison #416 reaction :
I began to feel that I was losing my identity, that the person that I called Clay, the person who put me in this place, the person who volunteered to go into this prison – because it was a prison to me; it still is a prison to me. I don’t regard it as an experiment or a simulation because it was a prison run by psychologists instead of run by the state. I began to feel that that identity, the person that I was that had decided to go to prison was distant from me – was remote until finally I wasn’t that, I was 416. I was really my number.
Most of us know ourselves only from our limited experiences in familiar situations that involve rules, laws, policies, and pressures that constrain us. We go to school, to work, on vacation, to parties; we pay the bills and the taxes, day in and year out. But what happens when we are exposed to totally new and unfamiliar settings where our habits don't suffice? you start a new job, go on your first computer-matched date, join a fraternity, get arrested, enlist in the military, join a cult, or volunteer for an experiment. The old you might not work as expected when the ground rules change.
We want to believe in the essential, unchanging goodness of people, in their power to resist external pressures, in their rational appraisal and then rejection of situational temptations. We invest human nature with God-like qualities, with moral and rational faculties that make us both just and wise. We simplify the complexity of human experience by erecting a seemingly impermeable boundary between Good and Evil. On one side are Us, Our Kin, and Our Kind; on the other side of that line we cast Them, Their Different Kin, and Other Kind. Paradoxically, by creating this myth of our invulnerability to situational forces, we set ourselves up for a fall by not being sufficiently vigilant to situational forces.
First, the world is filled with both good and evil- was, is, will always be. Second the barrier between good and evil is permeable and nebulous. And third, it is possible for angels to become devils and, perhaps more difficult to conceive, for devils to become angels.
We are conditioned to the myth of White Superiority before birth. What I do looks brutal to White People because that isn’t something they have to live with everyday. It’s wrong when it’s done on a grand scale in society - but we do it All The Time.
My friend came upon this trailer last night for “The Lucifer Effect.” We watched it, thought it was kind of creepy and that was it. My friend was kind of interested because of the claim the trailer makes that the movie is real. He tried to look it up on IMDB, but there was nothing there.
Then he decided to look it up on Google and the first link is this one, which looks a little fake and he just thought it was a website for advertising the movie. But as he scrolled down through Google, he found the Wikipedia for the man who made the first website. Here, we found the page for the Stanford Prison Experiment.
After finding all this and nothing solid on the movie, we were a little creeped out, but we decided to look more into it. We found this:
“The makers of a chilling new horror movie in which an actress was nearly throttled are to go ahead with the delayed premiere after police released the unedited footage.
"The Lucifer Effect" 1 should have been shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but the production was delayed when police in the UK investigating the terrifying strangling incident seized the raw footage.
The movie was then set to premiere at the Paramount Studios Screening Rooms in Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California, on 27 October to coincide with the Halloween period but the director has since gone into hiding in Salvador, after unconfirmed reports in the Brazilian press, that one of the cast members has been hospitalized.
The Blair Witch style footage was shot in an abandoned mental asylum in Lincolnshire2 and is the first to explore director Tim Burke’s 3 controversial "enigmatic” technique 4in which actors have no access to a script and no idea what is going on. In this case, the Film centers around 8 people that won, bought or were awarded - what they thought was a Role in a Movie called “The Harrowing” - only to be locked in the Abandoned Mental Asylum for three days as part of a social experiment.
“The Lucifer Effect"is a reality movie that seeks to demonstrate the so-called "Lucifer Effect" 5 - a psychological condition brought about by trapping good people into an evil place; first, studied in the controversial ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’ in the 1970s, which had to be shut down as the students became increasingly abusive towards each other.
The Film has since been picked up by a new documentary film crew who has heard about the recent peculiar happenings and with special permission from the film’s abstruse executive producers, have decided to piece together the story. But, it has been rumoured across the Internet that the Film is cursed with viewers receiving strange things happen to them after watching the trailer. The new film makers may have got more than they bargained for as last week during a test screening; two girls had to receive medical attention.”
“What you see in this movie is what actually happened,” said James Munroe, one of the Film’s producers. “We didn’t script anything, or direct anything. We just brought together eight good people, put them in a place where much evil had occurred, and filmed whatever happened. The movie speaks for itself and is a powerful demonstration of how evil can continue to infest a location long after the events themselves have ended.”
Their words force us to confront the unthinkable again and again: that human beings are capable of totally abandoning their humanity for a mindless ideology, to follow and then exceed the orders of charismatic authorities to destroy everyone they label as “The Enemy.”
Philip Zimbardo- The Lucifer Effect
This book is incredible. Dense, but amazing. My favorite modern-day psychologist.
Most of us hide behind egocentric biases that generate the illusion that we are special. These self-serving protective sheilds allows us to believe that each of us is above average on any test of self-integrity.
Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil