Philip Zimbardo an American psychologist born on March 23, 1933, in New York City. Zimbardo attended Brooklyn College and graduated with four majors: sociology, anthropology, and psychology. In 1959 Zimbardo received his Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University and became an associate professor within a year. According to research, Zimbardo developed The Stanford Shyness Clinic where he was able to help people overcome shyness. While spending most of his career researching how and why people conform in certain situations, he proposed a variety of definitions explaining these behaviors. Exploring human nature and how people are influenced by the actions of others has created controversial views, and it’s believed that conformity is the most general concept for effects caused by another person or group.
Zimbardo believed situations made people act the way they do, not their personalities. Zimbardo’s study of the human response to captivity presented in the Stanford Prison Experiment explains the outcome of how healthy people behaviors change when placed in authoritative positions over another group of healthy people. The purpose of the experiment was to study human reactions to authority and submission. In 1971 Philip Zimbardo assigned 24 students to help with the research in which their roles were guard or prisoner. The study was scheduled to last two weeks; he terminated the experiment on the sixth day. Zimbardo made the decision when he saw the students conform to their roles and began mimicking real guards and prisoners. Zimbardo observed many of the guards using brutal tactics and rebelling, rioting, and depression from the prisoners.
Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment remains a landmark in the study of psychology and in our understanding of how situational forces can influence human behavior. The case study is now widely debated according to research. Many deem the experiment as unethical stating Zimbardo was too involved, the investigation was improperly set up, unpredictable, and the studies did not protect the volunteers from harm or danger. After the study ended, all participants went on to careers in psychology or medicine. There was no trauma despite extreme emotional stress during the experiment.
In conclusion, it’s believed there was valuable information behind the Stanford Prison Experiment. Philip Zimbardo and the work that he has done throughout the years has forever changed the practice of psychology forever. The Stanford Prison Experiment will forever be known as one of the most controversial psychology experiments to ever be performed. It was an experiment that put students through extreme limits and got worse as the investigation went on. Zimbardo continued his works the Lucifer Theory and Social Intensity Syndrome after the prison experiment ended. Through many years of hard work and dedication, Zimbardo’s work will be forever recognized.