For decades, students have been taught about the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which volunteers were assigned as either “prisoners” or “guards” in a mock prison. The “guards” in this scenario allegedly became abusive and controlling toward the “prisoners,” thus it was concluded that average people, given power and control, would turn to such negative behavior. But was this a legitimate experiment? New evidence reveals that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than was originally reported. Listen as we discuss the origin of the experiment, the controversy surrounding it, and what (if anything) we can actually learn from it.
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Stanford Prison Experiment Show Highlights:
“To study a prison setting, you have to go into an actual prison. You cannot create a fake prison…and expect to learn anything of value.” ~ Dr. John Grohol
[1:34] What was the Stanford Prison Experiment?
[5:00] What’s the new controversy about?
[11:37] Why weren’t these issues discovered earlier?
[14:39] What can we really learn from the experiment?
[16:35] Why were the claimed results so easily accepted?
[25:20] Should the Stanford Prison Experiment still be taught?
About Our Guest
John M. Grohol, Psy.D. is the founder & CEO of PsychCentral.com, a mental health and human behavior/technology expert, co-author of Self-Help That Works (Oxford University Press, 2013), the author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online, and is a published researcher. He sits on the scientific board of the journal, Computers in Human Behavior and was previously on the editorial boards of CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and the Journal of Medical Internet Research. He is a founding board member and current treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine, and sits on the board of the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression. He currently oversees PsychCentral.com, the world’s leading mental health resource offering information and support groups to over seven million people each month.
About The Psych Central Show Hosts
Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. In addition to hosting The Psych Central Show, Gabe is an associate editor for PsychCentral.com. He also runs an online Facebook community, The Positive Depression/Bipolar Happy Place, and invites you to join. To work with Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.
Vincent M. Wales is a former suicide prevention counselor who lives with persistent depressive disorder. In addition to co-hosting The Psych Central Show, Vincent is the author of several award-winning novels and the creator of costumed hero Dynamistress. Visit his websites at www.vincentmwales.com and www.dynamistress.com.