Thursday, May 13, 2004

Sad parallels

Phil Zimbardo examines the Abuse of Iraqi prisoners and the Stanford Prison Experiment parallels:
Recent horrors being displayed of sexual degradation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military army reservists elicit direct and sad parallels between similar behavior of the "guards" in the Stanford Prison Experiment against their "prisoners."

As the guards on the night shift became ever more bored with their long 8-hour shift, they began to use the prisoners as play things
for their amusement, believing that their actions were not under surviellance during the night (they were secretly video taped for subsequent viewing). I then discovered they would get them to simulate sodomy and other homophobic behaviors.

They also stripped prisoners naked for various offenses, took away their sheets and mattresses, put them in solitary for excessive periods — all of which are mirrored in the behavior of military police in the Abu Ghraib prison outside of Bagdad. It is one reason we ended the study a week early because the guards were abusing the power in their roles, and were becoming uncontrollable by our staff.
The Stanford Prison Experiment.

via [ Elin ]

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