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Do You Think Zimbardo Prison Study "Quiet Rage" Was Ethiical?

690 words - 3 pages

Ethics is a broad subject that encompasses all different sets of moral guidelines. In terms of Sociology, ethics can be defined as mode that implores us to act in a way to benefit society. In the 1971 documentary, “Quiet Rage”, psychologist Philip Zimbardo conducted a prison experiment at Stanford University aiming to gain knowledge in regards to the development of norms, roles, labels, and social expectations in a prison environment. Throughout this experiment Zimbardo lost control of the situation as the participants lost their own identities and became greatly involved with the roles that they were expected to act upon. As a result Zimbardo had to terminate the experiment before the ...view middle of the document...

However, Asch’s experiment did not have any negative psychological effect on the participants unlike Zimbardo’s prison experiment which has a huge psychological effect on its participants. The sufferings experienced by the participants in Zimbardo’s prison experiment were so intense that the experiment had to be terminated during its sixth day. Luckily, these psychological effects were short term and did not have a significant impact on the participants.
Moreover, it was not right to trade the suffering experienced by participants for the knowledge gained by the research, however the experience was necessary in order to have obtained the knowledge we now have from this experiment. Zimbardo argued that the knowledge acquired from the simulation was beneficial not only to the purpose of the experiment but also for society and how they will later on improve prison environment. For example, ten years after the experiment, prisoner 8612 helped reformed prison conditions by becoming a prison psychologist. Another example which clearly states, “No Pain, No Gain” was the study...

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