Posted: June 28th, 2022

Zimbardo experiment

Explain the Zimbardo experiment and what it might imply for correctional professionals.

Reaction Paper should be 3 pages in length in a WORD document. Be sure to adhere to APA format (to include a cover page, proper formatting, in-text citations, and a reference page). The 3- page minimum does not include the cover page or works cited page.
Zimbardo experiment
Student Name

Zimbardo experiment
Life in prison is considered very different from a life spent outside. According to statistics, the United States’ largest population has at least spent time in prison/jail. The criminal justice systems and state prisons have come up with various strategies, and policies to chage inmates experiences and mold the behaviours of correctional proffesionals. One of the famous experiment was the Zimbardo experinment conducted in stanford university (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). The paper is a discussion of the Zimbardo experiment and what it might imply for correctional professionals.
Phillip Zimbardo a psychologist at Stanford University conducted a very influential prison experiment in 1971. The experiment has been used over the years in learning about the impact of situations on behavior and the nature of evil. The experiment was conducted in two weeks by students who acted as correctional officers. The Zimbardo experiment’s primary aim was to learn and focus on situational behavior, where physical and mentally ill undergraduates were used to provide the role (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). According to the experiment, nine boys were assigned to be prisoners, other guards, and six were to be used in case of a replacement. The total number of students in the experiment were twenty-four. The prisoners were taken to Stanford county prison, a basement of the Stanford psychology department building. When the prisoners arrived in the prison, their heads were shaved, searched, and provided with uniforms. On the other hand, the guards were not trained or formally guided but expected to act accordingly through self-made rules.
After six days, the prisoners began a rebellion, making the guards use fire extinguishers to spray the prisoners. To calm the prisoners down, the guards used solitary confinement and other psychological tactics, such as using a privileged cell (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). During the experiment, one prisoner was released due to emotional distress. The prisoners started were faced with fear after realizing the situation was no longer an experiment. Due to pressure and trauma, another prisoner was released after being hysterical. The prisoners became cruel and harsh prisoners, forcing them into a weird sexual situation and physical and psychological torture. For instance, leap-frogging and being denied their right to food. The cruelty forced the victims to submit.
Further, the prisoners were to be offered parole through a parole board but were never granted permission. The experiment was, however, closed due to prisoners’ emotional and mental torture (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). The experiment was designed to provide a deep understanding of the capability of humanity and evil behaviors. Also, the experiment made people understand that evil behavior is a result of the situational occurrence.In six days, the experiment was already a research study into the impacts of situations on human behaviors, especially when placed in a torturous prison environment. The freedom of power provided to the correctional officers made the guards act cruel, and how many could not act in everyday life.
The Zimbardo experiments imply to correctional professionals, especially from the lesson learned that Social roles mold human behavior, including the behaviors of correctional officers towards inmates (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). According to the real world of correction officers and inmates is predetermined by the roes presented in the prison environment. Correctional officers work under-designed rules, such as moment-to-moment instructions, which is different from the Zimbardo experience. According to the experiment, the guards were not provided with training nor instructions on how to behave. Correctional professional behaves and according to the level of social freedom granted education and instructions provided (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). The guards in the experiment assumed their roles, where the extreme behavior resulted from an extreme institution or upper authority. On the other hand, correctional professionals’ actions depend on the nature of the environment, such as the cruelty, ad rebellious nature of inmates. Also, inmates and correctional professionals’ behavior is determined by the culture forms by the officers, the groups, and the closeness formed by inmates.
Correctional professions enter into their line of duty with predisposed mentality according to the demand of the occupations. Correctional officers work on controlling and leading inmates. Correctional professionals tend to look for other ways to manage prisoners, regardless of the amount of pay they receive. For instance, concerning the experiment, correctional professions may develop a police culture that works best in handling stubborn prisoners, such as solitary confinement, to achieve the designed and expected goal of their professions (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). On the other hand, having an authoritarian administrator influences correctional officers’ behaviors, including parole officers. For instance, when the administrative officer leads through inhuman acts to achieve a certain goal, another correctional profession tends to follow the lead; when a correctional professional is given a chance to work in prison, many works out of the pressure to achieve, and others for its fun.
On the other hand, correctional professionals may work out of their personalities according to training and designed cultures. Apart from circumstantial factors, correctional professionals work out of the power and authority to make the right choices and run the prison smoothly. Not every correctional professional follows the designed rules of acts according to instructions, most applicable policies, and decisions that work best and faster. Also, the expectation of correctional professions to be tough influences their behaviors. For instance, correctional professions may turn to be cruel, mean, and aggressive in efforts of becoming tough (Kulig, Pratt, and Cullen, 2017). Obedience to authority is key to correctional professions, where officers’ behavior is under control of the social situation, such as the institutional authority and relationship with inmates.

Kulig, T. C., Pratt, T. C., & Cullen, F. T. (2017). Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: A case study in organized skepticism. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 28(1), 74-111

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