Should psychological experiments like "Stanford prison experiment" be - ProProfs
     

Should psychological experiments like "Stanford prison experiment" be promoted?

Should psychological experiments like "Stanford prison experiment" be promoted?

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M. Krasinski

M. Krasinski, Content Writer, Columbus

Answered on Jul 25, 2018

Ethics in the field of psychological experimentation is rightly very much stricter than in the time of Stanford and his prison experiment. Nowadays when devising an experiment you must carefully consider any possible adverse effects upon any participant. While the real focus of interest may well be kept from participants for the very good reason that otherwise this would ruin the experiment, participants should not be led to believe they are doing good when the outcome is bad.

In any case, there is no 'promoting' of any experiment. There is its acceptance or otherwise by the university or research establishment, and there is funding or not. If unethical, the establishment would not accept a proposed piece of research. It could only be a senior researcher who would be in the position of 'promoting' i.e. stating it would be a helpful / insightful experiment to the establishment.

A.Jeff

A.Jeff

Answered on Mar 13, 2018

No I do not think the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) should be promoted. In case you don’t know, the SPE was a study conducted in 1973 to help researchers understand the psychological effects of prison life. Stanford University students volunteered and they were randomly assigned roles as either prisoner or guard. The study director participated as the prison warden. The study was designed to last two weeks but had to be stopped after six days.

The students participating as prisoners experienced humiliation and distress, leading to psychological harm. The study director was criticized for ethics violations. Years later, it was determined there were no lasting effects but I still think it shouldn’t be promoted

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