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Peer Review

The Stanford Prison Experiment

by Philip Zimbardo


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Nov 14, 2004 by Psychology
Overview: The Stanford Prison Experiment is a comprehensive overview of the simulation
study of the psychology of imprisonment conducted at Stanford University in 1971
under Dr. Philip Zimbardo. It includes a slide show style format explaining the
basic premise, experimental procedures, and basic results. Incorporated into
the slide show presentation are video clips and discussion questions. It also
includes an additional section of thought-provoking discussion questions, a
section of related links that include relevant materials used in the study and
that include materials relating to the broader topics of prison psychology and
relevance to modern prison issues.
Type of Material: This case study includes text, images, video clips, discussion questions, and
extensive links to related material.

Recommended Uses: This site can be used in class or as an assignment to illustrate basic social
psychological principles and to foster discussion of the effects of role-playing
on attitudes and the psychological mechanisms underlying human aggression.

Technical Requirements: Audio capability, RealPlayer, and Adobe Acrobat Reader are needed.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The learner will be able to accurately identify the purposes, procedures,
findings, and conclusions of Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment.

Target Student Population: College students of any level taking an introductory or social psychology class.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Stanford Prison Experiment provides:
1. Comprehensive overview of this well-known social psychological experiment on
2. Discussion questions designed to stimulate critical thinking
3. Additional material related to relevant present day issues and the broader
topic of prison psychology
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Stanford Prison Experiment provides an effective introduction and overview
of prison psychology. The site incorporates video clips and thought-provoking
discussion questions to further consideration and discussion of the subject.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is easy to navigate, self-contained, and well-organized.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: This site is nicely designed and effectively organized.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States