Psychology Cae Studies Essay
Psychology Cae Studies
1) Newspaper Advertisement: -self selecting persons who had an interest in seeing the study become successful. If you volunteer to become a part of a study clearly you have an interest and feel a sense of responsibility towards the experiment. 2) Subjects were predominately white and middle class. This implies that the subjects are from similar backgrounds, and so share similar experiences. In such cases we call them a homogeneous group.
A homogeneous group because of their similar experiences are not likely to be representative of the wider population. Consequently results are likely to reflective of them, not the general population. In this instance we may only have learn how a prison population with predominately white males from a middle class background is likely to behave. Remember the purpose of much of research is to generalise to the wider population.
3) Thumbs up for the use of questionnaires and an interview, which were used to screen the subjects. Thumbs down – what constituted healthy? How did they come to this judgement? Normal! What is normal? 4) The experiment was conducted at the prestigious Stanford University. The Prestige of the University will have impacted upon the subjects. Oh my god we are here at Stanford. If Stanford is doing this then it must be good and worthwhile. They wouldn’t have me doing something that’s not good for me. No matter what I feel I must behave as a dutiful subject. It’s not hard to imagine the subjects thinking in this manner.
5) The direct involvement of the chief researcher as a participant in the Experiment could also impact upon the subjects. Hey he’s involved, if he isn’t having a problem neither should I. I need to follow his lead. This is a really valuable piece of research. Key Terms De-Individuation: -This is a loss of your individual identity. The guards lost their identity to the group collective. We are guards. The (uniform), inclusive of baton, reflecting sunglasses and apparel (what they had on) contributed to this. We are the authority! What we say goes! The prisoners lost their identity when they were given prison garb and prison numbers. To be referred to only by a number robs you of your name. How vital is a name to an individual? Mr, Miss, Mrs, name only. It comes to define you the individual. Without it who are you?
De-humanisation: – This means that you have lost your humanity and are not treated with the basic dignity to which human beings are entitled. The prisons were de-humanised. Remember they were stripped and made to stand naked in the court -yard. This is not a dignified way to treat persons. Further evidence of their dehumanisation is the prison guards referring to their rights as privileges. This implied that they were not entitled to rights. Loss of control over what we as humans have come to expect, when we eat, when we sleep, and when use the bathroom. They lost the power to do all these things.
Learned helplessness: – They became dependent upon the guards for everything. They lost the desire and the know how to do things for themselves. This was not the situation before since they acquired it in prison, then it is learned helplessness. Remember power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Role Confusion: – This occurs when the individual cannot separate roles that he has been given-which am I truly? This is linked to role consumption, This occurs when one particular role comes to define an individual take for example an athlete or politician who refuses to retire long after they have passed their prime. Both the guards and the prisoners suffered from this problem.
The guards like the prisoners suffered de-individuation. They too lost their identities to the roles they were asked to perform. The awesome power they were given, the uniform-inclusive of whistle, baton and reflecting sunglasses all contributed to them losing their identity. They began to see themselves as guards only and begun acting accordingly. Most naturally this meant that the guards internalised the prison. By Internalisation we mean that they accepted the prison as being real, and conformed to its expectations, routines and guidelines. Did the guards truly internalise the prison? Lets look at the evidence of this-The guards attempted to hide the prisons in the broom cupboard because they felt the experimenters were being too soft-
[This is evidence of internalisation because it shows that the guards had removed themselves from the confines/boundaries of the experiment and had now started to think as the collective group-prison guards-[This moment should have marked the end of the experiment as its integrity had been compromised-it was an ethical violation to continue-Zimbardo being a part of the experiment(Prison Warder-head guard) became totally subjective and could not see that anything was wrong-this again was unethical but only because his objectivity was compromised]. Further evidence of this is calling the prisoners rights privileges, and delaying the prisoner roll call to hours.
For the prisoners the arresting process, which began when they were arrested and ended when they were finger printed and photographed, contributed to the prisoners internalising the prison. This occurred because of the shock value it signified a break from the prison (subjects) everyday reality they were arrested-they were now prisoners. The initiation process, which is everything, which happened to the prison subjects up until they were assigned to their cells, also contributed to their internalising the prison. This included being given prison uniforms, being stripped and deloused, being made to stand naked in the prison yard, being assigned numbers, learning the prison rules -which they had to recite and being assigned cells. Evidence of the internalisation of the prison by the prisoners is them referring to themselves by number, asking for a lawyer, bail and parole board, and returning to their cells when they could have just left.
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