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Why Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment Isn’t in My Textbook

Three months ago, Psychology Today blogger Susan Krauss Whitbourne posted an essay entitled The Rarely Told Story of Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment. I eagerly read it in the hope that it would reveal some heretofore relatively unknown truth about this famous experiment. But, in fact, the essay is simply a summary--a well written one--of the experiment that takes at face value Phillip Zimbardo’s and his colleagues’ conclusions. In the introduction to the essay, Whitbourne states that the experiment is “Depicted in movies, television and of course all introductory psych textbooks…” It’s true that Zimbardo’s experiment is one of the two or three most famous experiments in the history of psychology. But it’s not true that it’s depicted in all introductory psychology textbooks. I’m the author of one such textbook (which is now in it’s 6th edition and is used in many colleges and universities). One of the questions I’m frequently asked about the book by professors who teach from it is, “Why don’t you include Zimbardo’s prison experiment, like all other textbook authors do?”
Here’s why, the results of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment have a trivial explanation. See also, The lie of the Stanford Prison Experiment [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 29, 2013 - 61 comments

 

Contesting the “Nature” Of Conformity: What Milgram and Zimbardo's Studies Really Show

Contesting the “Nature” Of Conformity: What Milgram and Zimbardo's Studies Really Show [FULL TEXT] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 1, 2012 - 24 comments

The Score on Scoring

There is a dating guide for Stanford University (PDF file), and it includes a foreword by Philip Zimbardo.
posted by reenum on Jun 24, 2012 - 42 comments

The Menace Within

The participants in the Stanford Prison Experiment are revisited 40 years after their experience.
posted by reenum on Jul 11, 2011 - 57 comments

The Secret Powers of Time

The Secret Powers of Time An animation of a lecture by Philip G. Zimbardo (previously). [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on May 29, 2010 - 19 comments

Sadeian Nation?

Mass. school punishes students with electric shocks "They can be shocked for behaviors including ’failure to maintain a neat appearance’, ‘stopping work for more than 10 seconds’, ‘interrupting others’, ‘nagging’, ‘whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff’, ‘slouch in chair’ ' I have spoke before of American Enantiodromia. Further, Thomas Moore wrote in Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism , that in any culture that does not acknowledge it's skeletons, --it's sins, if you will-- will have that imagination played out in real life.
The ways of Sade are not limited to bedroom and scenes of bondage or porno theaters or forbidden books. Any aspect of culture, from the great to the small, insofar as it is engaged in issues of power has therefore Sadean qualities. Furthermore, since life is never perfect, every aspect of culture will know the split of power into torture and suffering, dominance and submission, or sentimentality and cruelty.
I wont editorialize anymore than I have, but I can't help but wonder, When did psychological abuse become entertainment? or has it always been thus? Also see: N.Y. report denounces shock use at school. I look forward to your Parallax View.
posted by Unregistered User on Jun 17, 2006 - 33 comments

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