Monday, January 29, 2007

The real Das Experiment

I haven't seen this yet, but post it anyway as a bookmark and for other people who are interested. The movie Das Experiment is based on The Stanford Prison Experiment. The Stanford prison experiment was a landmark psychological study of the human response to captivity, in particular, to the real world circumstances of prison life, and the effects of imposed social roles on behavior. You can now watch a (crappy quality)report of the The Standford Prison Experiment on youtube, here. And here a better one on googlevideo, thanks to cybrbeast.


cybrbeast said...

It's really interesting and shocking. But the end of the second to last part is broken and the last part is completely out of sync. So I couldn't watch the conclusion :(
I've found a better and complete version: Here

It seems like a sick but effective personality test, you can really see the sadist conform to his personality and the subjective persons being broken.
This research really deserves reproduction, although the potential harm it causes the subjects is distressing. Maybe under good supervision.

cybrbeast said...

Looking at the relatively easy conditions in the experiment one can only imagine how horrible real prison must be.

ExpendableAsset said...

Pussies.... pffft.

There's a number of anomalities though, for example actual correction officers are allowed to use violence, handle much larger groups of inmates and won't normally enforce physical exercise (they'd rather keep the convicts supressed).

cybrbeast said...

Yes but the experiment was more geared to the dynamics of giving some people power over others. Of course they couldn't allow the guards to beat up the prisoners.
But it really shows how much power and lack of it can do to people. If you extrapolate this to real prisons it makes for a depressing situation.

As Lord Acton said: "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" :)

annom said...

In the end the prof says this:

"The important issue is the metaphor of prisoner and guard. What does it mean to be a prisoner and what does it mean to be a guard? A guard is someone who limits the freedom of someone else. He uses the power in their role to control and dominate someone else. And that's what this study is about. So any situation you are in, whether this is powerrelationship between husband and wife, parents and children, teachers and students, etc. We think this study has relevance for you."