“The Stanford Prison Experiment” by P. G. Zimbardo


The article “The Stanford Prison Experiment” by Philip G. Zimbardo gives us the procedure and the results of the experiment, which were created with the only aim – to watch how the behavior of simple good people can be influenced by placing them in the jail. The experiment was to last two weeks, but had to be finished in six days. The reason was a great depression of people, who were volunteers in the experiment.

Everything pushed on people: cells, endless corridors, chains, absence of casual clothes and other circumstances which did not allow feeling experimenters somewhere behind the jail walls. The guard was allowed to be free in their actions. They were neither taught how to behave nor limited in their treatment. The jail contained both our experimenters and real prisoners, what put some tension in the atmosphere. All that experiment was a group pressure.

Prisoners were under the pressure all the time, even at night, when chains did not allow them to sleep. ”Acute emotional disturbance, disorganized thinking, uncontrollable crying, and rage” (Zimbardo) are those feelings which made people crazy. That pressure from all sides did not allow people to release their minds from anything and relax. It is that emotional pressure which makes people angry and aggressive. The experiment was realistic, people did not play their roles, but they lived another lives. The experiment showed that it was impossible to stay in the depressive atmosphere and to convince yourself that it is just a dream and it will finish soon.

So, Stanford Prison Experiment showed that people’s consciousness can be influenced. Pressure and negative emotions can lead people to madness. Everyday punishment may turn good people into bad, calm people into aggressive.

The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal

The situation at Abu Ghraib has been described as a place where conventional morality and ethics no longer applied. Before confirming or refusing this statement, the situation should be considered. Abu Ghraib is Saddam Hussein prison. People who were there could not express their thoughts without emotions, as the pictures they saw there were really impressive. The place is not like any correctional colony, as people there were not aimed to be corrected. The only aim of that prison is to kill people with the greatest severity and with tortments.

After considering the information which was assessable for me about that prison, the conclusion was made that there is no other crueler and more disgusting place to be. There is one quote of eyewitness, which gives the whole picture of a place: “If there’s ever a reason to get rid of Saddam Hussein, it’s because of Abu Ghraib,” says Baer. “There were bodies that were eaten by dogs, torture. You know, electrodes coming out of the walls. It was an awful place.” (Leung). Reading this phrase you understand that there are no any words about morality and ethics in the place like Abu Ghraib. People who create such places must be punished with the whole severity of the law.


So, Abu Ghraib prison is the place of death where people were not corrected but tortured. There was no any place for morality there as any type of tortures is not considered to be humanistic. People should expiate sins but not wash them out with their blood. Abu Ghraib prison is the most disgusting place in the world which must be razed to the ground.

Works Cited

Zimbardo, Philip G. The Stanford Prison Experiment. Web.

Leung, Rebecca. Abuse Of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed. Web.

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