Stanford prison experiment | Social Science homework help

Please choose  the Stanford Prison Experiment o and within 2-3 pages, please type up an analysis of whether the experiment did or did not follow the three ethical principles of the Belmont Report:

Respect for persons: Individuals should be treated as autonomous.

Beneficence: Individuals should be protected from harm and should have their well

-being maintained.

Justice: There should be a “fairness of distribution” among subjects and potential subjects of the 

burdens and benefits of research


Stanford prison experiment
●Dr. Zimbardo had to stop the experiment early.
○Subjects actually became too caught up in their roles.
■Guards became aggressive and verbally abusive.
■Some guards exhibited fits of rage.
■Prisoners became passive.
■Some wept uncontrollably.
○The danger to the subjects was not just psychological, but physical as well.
○Video (no captions available):
○Video Transcript:
Unintended consequences of research

●There is research that may seem innocent, but can be potentially damaging to a 

subject’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

○Self-esteem and anxiety

■Exposing aspects of someone that they would rather have concealed.

■Encouraging reflection on past events that the subject has tried to forget.

■Revealing the subject’s ignorance

Unintended consequences of research

●Surveys are powerful, but caution must be exercised.

○Researchers must consider the potential psychological harm that a survey or question could inflict.


●Questions exposing a subject’s prejudice toward some particular group could lead to a 

loss of a subject’s self-image.

●A series of questions about current events could be stressful to someone who is ignorant of such events.

●Asking questions about painful past experiences, like failed relationships, child abuse, 

etc, can also produce anxiety for the subject

Good research practices

■Respondents should always feel free to decline to participate.

■Even if they have already agreed to participate, they should feel free to refuse any question they find objectionable.

■It is the job of the researcher to inform respondents of this freedom
●Inequalities are often difficult to avoid completely, so researchers have to be keen to minimize them as much as possible.

○Unequal benefits or burdens

■Experiments: there is often the experimental group (who gets something extra) and the control group (who gets nothing special—like a placebo).

○Minimizing inequality

■Objective: make the inequalities as minimal and as random as possible.

Deception in research

●Social Scientists often conduct covert research.

○The trick is to balance the need for deception with the rights of the subjects.

○Observing individuals or elected officials in a public place or a public forum.

○Keeping the true intentions of one’s research hidden from the respondents, or only telling them part of the reasons for conducting the research.

●Some scholars argue that all deception in research is unethical.

○Others claim that some level of deception may be necessary
Scientific safeguards

●There are several safeguards in place that can help to ensure the safety of subjects.

○Institutional Review Boards (IRB)

○Informed Consent


○Anonymity and Confidentiality

●Institutional Review Boards (IRB):

○Mandated by all institutions that receive federal funding for research.  All research regarding human subjects must be submitted for review by the IRB.

○If you are tinkering with people, their minds, feelings, attitudes, etc, then you need to get the IRB to 

okay your project

●Informed Consent

○Informs the subjects (prior to their consent to participate) of the purpose of the study, the type of 

information being requested, who is conducting the study, and the risks involved.

○Generally this is a form spelling out the purpose of the research, risks, etc, and states an agreement 

by the subject to participate in the research

○Mitigates the problem of deception by explaining to the subjects after the experiment is over about 

the nature of the experiment.

○Basically, this is where you as the researcher come clean about any deception that you use


○The researcher cannot link the information provided with the person who provides it.  Researchers have no way of knowing who participated.


○Information exists to link the results with a particular respondent.  The researcher promises to hold 

this information in confidence.

Need your ASSIGNMENT done? Use our paper writing service to score better and meet your deadline.

Click Here to Make an Order Click Here to Hire a Writer
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.