Part A: Go to the following website www.prisonexp.org. Go through the website thoroughly and study the experiment described therein. When you are finished, go to the tab (on the website) labeled “Discussion Questions” and answer questions 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12 and 14 as completely as possible. Your responses should total between 1-2 original, non-plagiarized pages, with Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced.
Question # 3: What prevented “good guards” from objecting or countermanding the orders from tough or bad guards?
Question #4: If you were a prisoner, would you have been able to endure the experience? What would you have done differently than those subjects did? If you were imprisoned in a “real” prison for five years or more, could you take it?
Question #6: What factors would lead prisoners to attribute guard brutality to the guards’ disposition or character, rather than to the situation?
Question #8: What is identity? Is there a core to your self-identity independent of how others define you? How difficult would it be to remake any given person into someone with a new identity?
Question #9: Do you think that kids from an urban working-class environment would have broken down emotionally in the same way as did our middle-class prisoners? Why? What about women?
Question #12: Was it ethical to do this study? Was it right to trade the suffering experienced by participants for the knowledge gained by the research? (The experimenters did not take this issue lightly, although the Slide Show may sound somewhat matter-of-fact about the events and experiences that occurred).
Question #14: If you were the experimenter in charge, would you have done this study? Would you have terminated it earlier? Would you have conducted a follow-up study?
Part B: Would you follow orders of an authority figure? Watch the following clip and discuss the influence of obedience on our behavior. What factors in this video could have increased the likelihood that the victim and the others involved followed orders? What factors could have reduced the likelihood that all persons involved complied with the “authority figure?”
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