Conformity to social roles - ZIMBARDO Flashcards Preview

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define social roles

The parts individuals play as members of a social group, which meet the expectations of that situation.


What was the aim of Zimbardo's study?

'Do prison guards behave brutally because they have sadistic personalities, or is it the situation that creates the behaviour?'


What was the procedure of Zimbardo's study?

- mock prison set up in the basement of stanford university.

- Zimbardo advertised for volunteers in newspaper.

- potential participants were screened for pre existing emotional instability.

- parts. randomly allocated to prisoner or guard.

- "prisoners' arrested by real policemen outside their homes

- when prsnrs. arrvd. formally booked, informed of their miranda rights, fingerprinted, formally identified and stripped

- both prisoners and guards given uniforms

- prisoners were only referred to as their number


What were the findings of Zimbardo's study?

- guards conformed quickly - most acted brutally towards prisoners.

- after 2 days the prisoners rebelled

- many prisoners conformed after a few days and became submissive.

- Study was stopped after just 6 days due to the physical and psychological harm endured by the prisoners.


What happens to prisoner 8612?

He suffered form emotional disturbances, disorganised thinking and uncontrollable crying. He was eventually released after several requests.


What did Zimbardo conclude from this study?

Individuals conform readily to the social roles demanded of a situation even when such roles override an individual's moral beliefs about their personal behaviour.


Evaluation points for Zimbardo's study -

- Lacks population validity as only used male Americans.

- Poor ethical conduct.