Abstract was a set of phycological variables

Abstract

Every
man is born to be a leader; however, it has been proven that man cannot handle
a role of power correctly. A psychologist came up with the idea of putting
college student in a facility in where each one of them were given different
roles to play. Somewhere given the role of a prisoner and others the role of a
security guard. Things were all fun and games until it got out of control. The
men in the Stanford facility were beginning to truly believe that they were
exactly the roles that they were given (Stanford Prison Experiment). The
question is, is it the power they can’t handle or their psychological mindset?
There was a set of phycological variables that proved to have made ordinary
people do things they wouldn’t do before. For example, the security guards were
given mirrored sunglasses to wear. Which reflected as a mask. When one has a
way to mask their identity it gives them the ability to behave differently than
what they would without the “mask” on. The prisoners and guards were
being dehumanized. The powers of the situation transformed people (Shuttleworth,
2008).

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The
Human Experiment: A Study on Social and Behavioral Roles

What
happens when one decides to incarcerate up good people in an evil place? Does the
good in humanity overcome evil, or does evil succeed? These are a couple of
questions psychologist came up with while Stanford University conducted their
dramatic experiment in 1971 (Stanford Prison Experiment). The experiment deteriorated
very quickly and showed the true dark and inhuman side of human nature. For the
criminal justice system aspect, the experiment was managed to try to describe
what happens ordinary people are placed in a prison environment as inmates and
some are given the authority and to take away others rights. “Philip Zimbardo’s
experiment on prison life immediately exhibited how a person can simply let go
of their own identity to fit into the social roles expected of them (Haney,
Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973).” The end result of this experiment is still influential
in psychology today.

As
people, we tend to take up on many roles in our everyday life suggesting
different responsibilities that we may or may not be aware of. We work hard at
balancing all of our life obligations, which could misguide one’s life. However,
we can choose whether we want to use our roles for good or not (Shuttleworth,
2008). We have the ability to exceed and breaking free from the chains of negative
roles that hold us down. The Stanford Prison Experiment gave us a great perception
into how extreme human nature will go to fulfill our given roles. “People will willingly
adjust to social roles they are expected to play, especially if the roles are
as strongly stereotyped as those of the prison guards (McLeod, 2017).” Each
role is distinctive and becomes one with our identity.

Even
though the experiment as whole was to study the psychological effects of prison
inmates and guards, it unleashed the true identity of how easily behaviors can
be changed through   participated roles. However, there are multiple
reasons to why this experiment was ethically unsuccessful yet very informative
on both human behavior and role playing. There were many reasons into why the
participants of the experiment were heavily influenced into their assigned
roles. One main reason that may have affected their behaviors was the fact that
there was a power hierarchy. Even though this hierarchy was never real, both
the guards and the prisoners grasped this behavior into their identity. The
actions, behaviors and attitudes of all involved changed drastically in the six
days that the experiment was active. “They soon changed into aggressive guards and
anxious prisoners (Zimbardo et al, 1973).” This experiment, revealed the true
identity that explained our actions in a much comprehensive motive.

“Everyone
will be a prisoner or a guard at some point in their life; a guard is someone
who limits the freedom of another person. For example, Parents, spouses, and
bosses they do this all the time. And the recipients of this behavior? Well,
they are the prisoners (Zimbardo et al, 1973).” Even though this statement may
seem somewhat negative, is hold nothing but truth. Unfortunately, we as people
take a lot of our freedoms for granted. Our everyday lives are influenced by regulations
which isn’t always a bad thing. It is important to pay attention and look
closely at the limitations given in one’s life. As people, are we much more
significant that our particular roles? Or are we truly defined by our roles,
and our roles alone?