Since psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, the social world has changed dramatically. In this experiment, Zimbardo set up a simulated prison in which 24 male students were randomly assigned to be either prisoners or guards (De Waal, 2017). The experiment was intended to examine how people would react when placed in situations where they are given power over others and had no accountability for their actions. After only 6 days it had become so extreme that it was prematurely terminated (Zimbardo et al., 1973). Had this experiment been conducted today, the results likely would have differed drastically due to current public opinion on issues of authority.
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