The Stanford Prison Experiment


I wanna know about prisons and so rather than locking it banks you guys in my basement. I i read about prisons. Welcome to you're wrong about the show where we teach you how to ruin all of your teachers poorly thought out arguments. Ooh broad and very good thank you. I think it applies specifically well too easily d bunker bowl sociological phenomena of mid sanctuary america the term. That i keep coming across in. The literature is self debunking. I am michael hobbs. I'm a reporter for the huffington post. I'm sarah marshall. i'm working on a book about the panic panic. And if you'd like to support the show and here bonus episodes about season four of the crown among other things. You can support us on patriotic at patriots dot com slash. You're wrong about now. And today we are talking about the stanford prison experiment. I'm excited you have no idea. Got me to the lowest hanging fruit. I know that we have collected a wild like it was just hanging there. His perfect thing his guests. It's like it's this thing that people site all the time when they wanna make a facile case for why humans are terrible and you just give up on carrying about humans or expecting pro social behavior and it seems like the kind of thing that is so easily be buying its self raising debunking. I look into a whole thing where i was going to spend like twenty or thirty minutes walking you through the study step by step and really like convincing you that the study was real and then i was gonna have like boom a twist. You love fucking with me. don't you too. But then i realized you cannot describe this study without getting into the ways in which it is bullshit but this also a weird debunking because like what actually happened in the stanford. Prison experiment is actually mostly true. We're gonna get into the various like that were faked and stuff. That didn't hold up over time. But in general everything you've heard about what actually happened in a stanford basement in august of nineteen seventy-one that occurred where the debunking comes in is how to interpret. What occurred right this. Tonya harding and nancy. Kerrigan it's like everything you saw. It's like we're not adding anything new to that. It's like come take my hand. Look at it again. Tell me what you know about the stanford prison experiment what happened. My basic understanding of it is that there was a study at stanford by a guy named embargo which is a kick ass name. Yes phil zimbardo. Great name fell and basically my understanding of it is that the study shows volunteers. I believe from the student body to take on the roles of inmates and guards in a mock prison and half of them regard than half were inmates and as the study progressed. The guards began to abuse. The inmates and i believe this was of their own. Free will and then also that the study was called off early because the situation deteriorated so quickly. Yes it's the story. I think one of the things. That has made the story so appealing. Is this twist in it that the academics themselves couldn't have predicted how severe it would get. Yeah it's like the russian sleep experiment creepy pasta. Don't try it. See the face of god. Young man one of the main beefs with these stanford prison experiment is how much of a standard in psychology textbooks. It is so one of the first things i did was. I found a bunch of textbooks online. And i looked at the way that they describe the study. Oh i'm so excited for this. Is god textbook analysis. My this under fall. So this is an excerpt from a textbook psychology. The science of mind and behavior from two thousand nine this is i think emblematic of the way that this study is described. It's described in varies cinematic terms. The prison had become a living. Hell hidden behind their mirrored sunglasses. The guards asserted their total authority over the prisoners. They made the prisoners. Ask permission to do. Virtually anything including going to the toilet. The guards conducted roll calls in the middle of the night to assert their power and disrupt the prisoners sleep. They forced the prisoners to do push sometimes with their foot pushing down on the prisoners back for their part. The prisoners became increasingly passive and depressed. They hated the guards. But we're powerless against them. After a few days one prisoner cracked emotionally but this prison was not in some brutal dictatorship. Instead the prison was in the basement of the psychology building at stanford university and the guards and prisoners were college students who had volunteered for a study of

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