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Mgt - Assignment Example

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Their heightened senses in such a situation cause prisoners to react by becoming more paranoid about their surroundings. Some may even hallucinate that they are experiencing things that…
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Module Management What are the effects of living in an environment with no clocks, no view of the outside world and minimal sensory stimulation?
Living in an environment that has no clocks or sensory stimulation is extremely disorienting. Their heightened senses in such a situation cause prisoners to react by becoming more paranoid about their surroundings. Some may even hallucinate that they are experiencing things that are not really happening.
2. Consider the psychological consequences of stripping, delousing, and shaving the heads of prisoners or members of the military. What transformations take place when people go through an experience like this?
The aim of stripping and delousing is to wipe out any reserve from the recipients of this treatment through subjecting them to humiliating forms of treatment. Shaving heads is also a form of removing any vestiges of individuality from any of the people so that they are all reduced to defining themselves as their captors do (Zimbardo).
3. At first push-ups were not a very aversive form of punishment, but they became more so as the study wore on. Why the change?
The push-ups became an aversive form of punishment because the guards could demand that the prisoners perform even more of them when they felt like it. Push-ups are a form of exercise that is associated with students. It emphasizes the superiority of the ‘coach’ or empowered individual who demands that others partake in it. The guards used push-ups to victimize the prisoners and increase their feelings of helplessness.
4. How do you think you would have behaved if you were a prisoner in this situation? Would you have rejected these privileges in order to maintain prisoner solidarity?
I do not believe that I would have been able to reject any privileges offered to me in order to maintain prisoner solidarity. It is evident that withdrawing into one’s self in order to find ways of surviving the brutal experience is something that prisoners are constantly thinking about.
5. Most prisoners believed that the subjects selected to be guards were chosen because they were bigger than those who were made prisoners, but actually, there was no difference in the average height of the two groups. What do you think caused this misperception?
I believe that the hardships they were being forced to suffer at the hands of the said guards were elevating the status of the guards, as well as their physical capacities, in the prisoners’ estimation.
6. Compare the reactions of these visitors to the reactions of civilians in encounters with the police or other authorities. How typical was their behavior?
The visitors, most of whom, shockingly, were parents of the incarcerated men, believed what the researchers in the role of guards and wardens informed them about their own sons even when they could see that their sons were not well. Even though the visitors were aware that this was a research study and not a real prison, they still placed more trust in the words of the wardens than what their own eyes were showing them (Zimbardo). Civilians are trained to trust the police, as well as prison wardens in real life situations over prisoners. This was evident in the way the parents chose to believe the wardens. It is evident that they had ceased to make the difference between real life representations, and psychological experiments.
7. In an exploratory study such as this, one problem is defining what the "data" are -- the information we should collect. Also, what should have been done to minimize the effects of experimenter bias on the outcome of the study? What were the dangers of the principal investigator assuming the role of prison superintendent?
To prevent experimenter bias, the researchers could have adopted the use of benchmarks that would inform them of their extreme identification with one set of conclusions. They could also have employed another character as the prison superintendent as the principal investigator was too close to his own research to be able to stop himself from being completely possessed by his own experiment.
8. In 2003 U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib, 20 miles west of Baghdad. The prisoners were stripped, made to wear bags over their heads, and sexually humiliated while the guards laughed and took photographs. How is this abuse similar to or different from what took place in the Stanford Prison Experiment?
There are graphic similarities in the way the Stanford prisoners were also forced to wear bags over their heads towards the end of the research. This was done to prevent them from seeing where they were when they went to the bathroom. When the guards became extremely agitated at the thought that the prisoners would escape, they would even force them to stay in cells with buckets of human waste posing a health risk. In addition, there were also the strip searches which exposed the prisoners to additional humiliation.
9. Where had our "John Wayne" learned to become such a guard? How could he and others move so readily into that role? How could intelligent, mentally healthy, "ordinary" men become perpetrators of evil so quickly?
People will change their behavior, or become more controlling if they are not held responsible for their actions. The individual guards were in a team whose acceptance and approval affected their self image. This social desire to fit in can actually be the corrosive element that causes ordinary people to become evil.
10. In the encounter sessions, all the prisoners were happy the experiment was over, but most of the guards were upset that the study was terminated prematurely. Why do you think the guards reacted this way?
The guards reacted this way because their influence was removed from them. The cohesive group that provided them with a special identity was disbanded, and this affected how they felt about themselves. Sustaining the experiment would have helped them to keep enjoying the privilege of identifying with a powerful group that changed how they felt about themselves.
Work Cited
Zimbardo, Phillip. “The Stanford Experiment.” Slide Tour. http://www.prisonexp.org/psychology/42 Read More
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