Was it ethical to do the prison study in the way that Zimbardo conducted it?  Why or why not?  Explain your position substantively.

 

Before responding to the questions below, click on the “Lessons” link on the left and complete the Week 7: Topic 1 – Social Psychology lesson. After completing the lesson, return to the forum here, click the “Post New Conversation” link at the top Week 7 Forum screen, and respond to the following questions.

One of the most famous psychological experiments of all time, was conducted by Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues at Stanford University. To read more of the details of this experiment, visit http://www.prisonexp.org. Take some time to watch the video on the Zimbardo Prison Experiment by clicking here. After reading about the experiment, exploring the website and watching the video, answer the following:
1. Was it ethical to do the prison study in the way that Zimbardo conducted it?  Why or why not?  Explain your position substantively.

2. What social psychological constructs did the study reveal? Would the same information have been learned if the study had been conducted differently? If yes, how might you adapt the study to address ethical concerns and still obtain results relevant to our understanding of behavior in social settings?
3. How do the social psychology concepts of conformity and the power of the social situation that we are studying this week relate to what happened during the brief period of time that the prison study ran.  Where in the description of how the study unfolded did we see evidence of these concepts?

 

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