Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Study

This is a video of the Stanford Prison study presented by Philip Zimbardo the psychologist who designed and conducted the study.

This study set out to investigate two major explanations for human behaviour: Dispositional and
Situational explanations.

Dispositional explanations focus on the individual and their personality.

People behave the way they do because they are disposed to behave that way. There is something about them that leads them to act in the way they do.

In this study Zimbardo wanted to find out if the aggressive and violent behaviour of prison guards in America during the 1960's and early 1970's was caused by the personality of the people who chose to become prison guards, they were aggressive and sadistic, or was it caused by the situation they found themselves, a prison.

If it was due to the situation, the prison environment, then this would be evidence to support what Zimbardo calls the
'Power of the Situation'. The situation that people find themselves in leads people to behave in the way they do.

This study also set out to investigate conformity to social roles: the role of prison guard, the role of prisoner, leading identification with that role. It is not a study into obedience to authority.

Link to a detailed outline of the Stanford Prison Simulation Study

The video is divided into chapters.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

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