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Although there were none of the prisoners had any long term effects from participating, while in the experiment they would be harassed and punished for no reason, which is where I think the experiment should have been discontinued.
Control of the experiment was lost as everybody involved, including Zimbardo became completely engulfed in their roles of the prison.
The experiment simulated a real life scenario of William Golding’s novel, “Lord of the Flies” showing a decay and failure of traditional rules and morals; distracting exactly how people should behave toward one another.
This To ensure to have satisfactory results in his study, Zimbardo required some preconditions.
Having [our] participants live in that setting day and night, if prisoners, or work for long eight-hour shifts, if guards, would also allow sufficient time for situational norms to develop and patters of social interaction to emerge, change and become crystallized” (Zimbardo, 2013).
Other preconditions he had were the mentalities of his volunteers; are they “normal,” healthy mentally and physically, are they without any prior history of conviction or drug usage?
Some other preconditions were to make the experimental setting bear a resemblance as closely to a functional simulation of the psychology of imprisonment as humanly possible.
He also wanted to make sure that there was the absence of any earlier indoctrination in how to play the randomly assigned roles; to leave that up to each participant’s prior societal teachings of the meaning of prisons and the behavioral scripts associated with the oppositional roles (Zambardo, 2005).
Research was conducted recently (August 14-21, 1971) in which subjects assumed the roles of ‘prisoner’ or ‘guard’ for an extended period of time within an experimentally devised mock prison setting on the Stanford University campus.
The projected twoweek study had to be prematurely terminated when it became apparent that many of the ‘prisoners’ were in serious distress and many of the ‘guards’ were behaving in ways which brutalized and degraded their fellow subjects.