Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 132
Behavior/Zimbardo: Individual behavior is largely under the control of social forces and environmental contingencies rather than ‘personality traits’, ‘character’, ‘will power’, or other empirically unvalidated constructs. Many people, perhaps the majority, can be made to do almost anything when put in psychologically compelling situations – regardless of their morals, ethics, values, attitudes, beliefs, or personal convictions … The mere act of assigning labels to people, such as ‘prisoners’ and ‘guards’ and putting them in situations where these labels acquire validity and meaning, is sufficient to elicit pathological behavior … The prison system … is guaranteed to generate severe enough pathological reactions in both guards and prisoners as to debase their humanity. (Zimbardo, 1971(1): 155). >Stanford prison experiment/Zimbardo, >Tyranny/Psychological theories, >Behavior/Zimbardo.


1. Zimbardo, P.G. (1971) ‘The psychological power and pathology of imprisonment’, Hearings before Subcommittee No.3 of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives Ninety-Second Congress, First sessions on corrections – Part II, Prisons, prison reform, and prisoners’ rights: California (Serial No. 15, 25 October). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.


S. Alexander Haslam and Stephen Reicher, „Tyranny. Revisiting Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment“, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Zimbardo, Philip
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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