There were ethical issues in researching the original study. A subsequent study looked at the power of roles in selected situations.
A 2006 study was conducted by the British Broadcasting Corporation replicating the study by Zimbardo. This study, due to the fact that it was conducted in later times, had more restrictions. While there were restrictions, there were also great differences. The first of the differences was how the participants were filtered. The Stanford prison experiment only gave the participants interviews and then certain personality tests. The BBC study used first psychometric tests, which combined a series of personality, attitude and mood tests. These tests were self-report tests. The second measure to filter the participants was a telephone interview. If they had passed through the first two filters the final was a full clinical interview. The second difference was how the participants were labeled either to be guards or prisoners. The Stanford Prison Experiment used random assignment to arrange them into the two groups. The BBC study first divided the participants into groups of smaller numbers in which they were organized by key psychological dimensions. From here they were then separated into prisoners and guards. Another difference was how the prisoners were brought to the mock prisons. The Stanford Prison Experiment participants were actually arrested for crimes which they did not commit, while those in the BBC study were just brought to the location by a blacked out car.
When it comes to the difference in the results between the Stanford Prison Experiment and the BBC prison study, it is clear that the BBC study is more of a struggle to figure out what to do when there is no direction given. There was more of a conflict within the two groups than between the two groups themselves. The Stanford Prison Experiment was looking at what happened when you gave one group authority over another and the power the situation. Philip Zimbardo himself even made a critique on the BBC study describing the differences in the setup, execution and results of the study. The setup differences range from the actual participants age and how the Stanford Prison Experiment actually used college students, while the BBC prison study used men of different ages. The two studies differed with how they were executed and how rules were set up and a hierarchy was put in place. Neither of these happened in the BBC prison study. In the conclusion, Zimbardo states that the conclusion was only one that was put in place for media, not for science.
Read more about this topic: Philip Zimbardo
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