Tag Archives | Stanley Milgram

The Stanford Prison Experiment: Dr. Philip Zimbardo Looks Back On The Controversial Psychological Study

If you haven’t heard of Phil Zambardo and the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, you soon will. Science World Report gets us started:

In 1971, 24 college students from Stanford University willingly participated in one of the most revealing yet controversial psychological experiment of all time – The Stanford Prison Experiment. The experiment demonstrated how the behavior of decent ordinary people could be altered – how a “perfect storm” of certain factors can serve to manifest humanity’s darker impulses.

Today, 44 years since the experiment first took place, a new movie on the study is hitting the big screen beginning July, 17. The drama stars Billy Crudup of “Almost Famous,” as the lead investigator, Philip Zimbardo. (A German movie was also made about the study in 2001, and a 2010 take starred Forest Whitaker and Adrien Brody.)


Philip Zimbardo. Photo by Luke poa (CC)


Zimbardo noted how the idea for the experiment had initially come from earlier research done by his high-school classmate, Stanley Milgram.

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Milgram Experiment Newspaper Ad

Via Twitpic, an interesting historical souvenir: the original newspaper classified ad calling for participants for Stanley Milgram’s obedience study, perhaps the most notorious psychological experiment ever. Milgram pressured his subjects into administering (simulated) electrical shocks to an unseen victim, testing ordinary people’s willingness to comply with brutal commands from authority figures. The payment section should read, “$4.00 and a glimpse of the darkness inside your own soul.”


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Game of Death: France’s Shocking TV Experiment (Video)

From Yahoo News:
Is a crusading French documentary maker striking a blow at the abusive powers of television — or simply taking reality TV to a new low of cynicism and bad taste? That's the question viewers across France are asking in light of Christophe Nick's new film Game of Death, which aired on French television Wednesday night. The documentary has generated a massive amount of attention — and naturally, courted controversy — because of the dilemma that faced contestants on a fake game show in the film: Would they allow themselves to be cajoled into delivering near-lethal electrical charges to fellow players, or rather follow their better instincts and refuse? Game of Death is an adaptation of an infamous experiment conducted by a team led by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. In order to test people's obedience to authority figures, the scientists demanded that subjects administer increasingly strong electric shocks to other participants if they answered questions incorrectly. The people delivering the shocks, however, didn't know that the charges were fake — the volunteers on the other end of the room were actors pretending to suffer agonizing pain. The point was to see how many people would continue following orders to mete out torture.
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