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Critique - Essay Example

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In his experiment, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Philip Zimbardo strives to prove the effects that societal stereotypes and environments have on human behavior. The psychologist creates a simulation of a prison and recruits a group of both prisoners and prison guards. His…
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The change in the behavior of Zambrano’s participants is systematic and proves his claim that personal roles often change behaviors. Behaviors arise from people’s interaction with their immediate societies. As such, the roles coupled with the beliefs that the society has on such roles systematically influence the behavior of the people playing the role as the discussion below portrays.
Both Plato and Zimbardo create an illusionary society by removing their subjects from the society to a new restricted space. While in the spaces, the perceptions of the subjects change based on their understanding of the surrounding. Zimbardo for example sought to establish whether the brutality in American prisons was a result of the guard’s sadistic personality or arose from the prison environment. He therefore recruits his subjects randomly from the society. The participants were normal individuals but without any prior engagements with prisons. As the participants spent more time in the prison environment, their behaviors began to change with the guards becoming increasingly aggressive in their behavior and brutal as they handle the prisoners. The prisoners on the other hand become increasingly submissive to the authority.in his study, Plato criticizes political structures and their effects in indoctrinating people thus influencing their beliefs and social understanding. “On the other hand, The Allegory of the caves is a discussion of politics: The Republic, from which it is taken, is a treatise on justice and the ideal government” (Plato 2).
The limited space in the prison restricts the mindsets of both the prisoners and the guards especially when within the premises. The prisoners spent most of their time talking about the prison and prison life. Additionally, their prior understanding of prisons influenced their stories. The same is the case with the guards who ... Read More
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About the Author Shelley completed his Ph.D. from the City University of New York, in the year 2003 in Cognitive Neuroscience. At the time of writing this article, Shelly was studying BS at Colorado State University, with majors in Psychology. He has associations to a number of psychological research institutions and has a number of papers written and published related to psychology and neurology.
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