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The Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment

What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University. Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment.... Show More


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Amy Brown
Amy Brown (Student)
7 years ago

This links into the Stanford Prison Experiment website. Very thorough, gives the background, events, and the outcome of the experiment. I would definitely use this in a class to show the step by step events of how psychologically trying it is to be incarcerated, even when as a simulation.

Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes
Sally Robertson
Sally Robertson (Librarian)
10 years ago

This is in MERLOT twice.

Time spent reviewing site: 15 min.
Scott Anstadt
Scott Anstadt (Faculty)
12 years ago

This is a simulation of the Stanford Psychology Study on Imprisonment in 1971. It goes through a series of chapters in the process of incarceration as experienced by the student participants in the study. Each chapter consists of several slides, written descriptions, webcasts, and discussion questions. The presentation enhances the senses due to its graphic content and use of audio and visual media. The interviews of the participants make the whole experience very authentic and help the student to emerse themselves in an unforgettable way.

The discussion questions tie back to the slide material and are rich in stimulating critical thought process and allow students to grapple with moral and ethical issues regarding incarceration.

The website is easy to use. Simply click on the active links. The only concern is that you are not able to click on specific chapters in the slide show and therefore must start at the beginning each time. The Discussion Questions are in their own screens and are pertinent to the particular chapter under consideration.

There are also links for obtaining the DVD, getting in touch with the author, FAQs and related links. The reader may also go to the Social Psychology webpage to get a wider overview of where this topic fits into the larger discipline.

Tani McBeth
Tani McBeth (Faculty)
13 years ago
The Stanford Prison Experiment has extensive resources on the original experiment as well as more recent implications for situations such as Abu Ghraib (Zimbardo was an expert witness). See also The Lucifer Effect--see video clip--and The Hero Project on this site along with many articles and interviews.
Used in course? Yes
Jennifer Lerner
Jennifer Lerner (Administrator)
16 years ago
I generally use the video of the Stanford Prison Experiment, Quiet Rage, in my sociology and criminology classes. This site would be a good alternative if you don't have the time for the video or access to the video. The slide show captures many of the key incidents in the film, provides enough description for students to undertsand what's going on, and offers video clips from the film to make the effects even more real. The slide show and other parts of the website also provide students with discussion questions and with connections to current and past prison events (Abu Ghraib, Attica, etc.).
Lori Habenicht
Lori Habenicht (Student)
17 years ago
1. I spent about 1/2 hour looking at the clips and I also saw some of the clips
in the classroom which is how I found this site.
2. The material very accurately presents concepts that are significant in
3. No Comment
4. It was easy to view the clips.
Used in course? Yes