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Ayiru
http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbard … _evil.html

If anyone is so inclined, spend the 20-30 mins to watch this video, I am watching it now for my class on societal violence tomorrow.

I have to say, it's amazingly interesting if you agree or don't agree with his findings, his work is really quite something.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Zimbardo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Zim … ison_study
Hanlol
Was very very interesting. I'd like to throw out all my opinions but cbf right now. GOOD AND EVIL IS SITUATIONAL AND DEPENDS ON MORALITY. Is all I can pump out atm, will look back later :P :condom:
Ralphie
I dont really rate the Stanford experiment particularly highly. I think its reputation has grown and been embellished over the years to make it out as worse than it actually was. I mean people going on hunger strikes and acting deranged and depressed after 2 days? Fuck off, they were already fucked in the head if they cant handle sitting in a cell for 2 days (voluntarily I might add, since they could opt out of the experiment at any point). It was unscientific and these days it is unrepeatable due to the ethics of the experiment, so what happened has just been packaged up neatly in this canonical narrative that nobody questions because it comes across as such a nicely packaged little moral lesson about the corrupting influence of power.

Maybe I'm totally deluded, but I just cant see myself being so quickly brought to a position of grovelling submission to some dickhead acting as a guard in what I knew to be a mock experiment. Sure, in a real prison i'd keep my mouth shut and do what I was told and call the guards 'sir' because they can beat the shit out of me and put me in solitary for a month for real, but not in this manufactured environment, no matter how realistic.
Ayiru
I put down a 100g bet that you'd chime in with the opposing opinion Ralphie.
Thanks for that.
Ayiru
That was in no way a passive aggressive attack, I was banking on it. I hoped someone else would have another opinion seperate to what Dr Zimbardo has to say.

I am glad Ralphie has pretty fucking good opinions with sound logic behind them.

:P
Ralphie
To add to what I already said, I think the Stanford experiment was deterministic in its approach and actually encouraged certain behaviours in the participants, through direct and implied instructions from Zimbardo before and during the event. To support that, read up on the BBC recreation that was done in 2002 called 'The Experiment' where they did basically the same thing but with a more scientifically controlled environment (and with the ethical considerations addressed better). They had completely different results, and concluded that "(a) there was no evidence of guards conforming 'naturally' to role, and (b) in response to manipulations that served to increase a sense of shared identity amongst the prisoners, over time, they demonstrated increased resistance to the guards' regime." Whether the experiment says things about human psychology or whether its more a comment on the limitations and problems with Zimbardo's original experiment I'm not sure.
Darkshaunz
I have read about this experiment a few years back, like Ralphie - I am also highly skeptical. It's a controlled environment, and not a product of natural circumstances (when you consider the chaotic context of a true police arrest). The problem I have is that it's a controlled environment which is actually only controlled by the one guy - who is clearly seeking this result. The subjects of this experiment were in no way coerced to proceed should they wish to exit the experiment. Despite the violent absurdities, they chose not to opt out, you can argue that the good doctor also mixed in some masochists in there with the sadists.

I also want to be clear here, these "subjects" were under no illusion that this was the real thing happening.

I think that they were probably sold the idea that they would be part of a revolutionary study which would forever change the landscape of understanding the baser morality of the human species. Either that, or they were paid exceptionally well for students in 1971 to act accordingly. The power of suggestion is really amazing. You would only need to first sell the idea of them being part of something important and then proceed to tell them, "We're actually exploring how people succumb to violence" some time before the "experiment" took place. People will eventually act out the seeded idea subconsciously, especially in an environment like a mock police prison where people are bored and idle. To add to it, these people were selected out of 75 respondents.

Keyword here is selected. Not randomly chosen, but hand-picked. Pretty convenient, as they probably chose people with traits leaning towards either submissiveness, aggression, self-gain or perhaps even those that may have had low mental fortitude/willpower.

The study is also questionable because it automatically assumes that people are actually naturally bad creatures that want to do horrific things given difficult circumstances. In my personal opinion, I believe that the complete opposite is true, people are naturally civilly neutral/good and aligned to be as such unless 1) Their environment and experiences change them and as a result their mental health is unstable due to degradation/disease, and they become sociopaths/psychopaths.

In addition to that view, I also think that the people that completely and unabatedly believe in this experiment are just people who are looking for an easy, black and white answer about human morality (we are all just the Great White Satan unleashed!). To those people, tell me about base human morality when it comes to this case:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/04/08/se … index.html

When a grenade bounced off his chest and fell to the floor near his fellow troops, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor acted out of instinct.

His actions didn't stem from a lack of training. His instant reaction was to protect his comrades.

The Navy says he committed a selfless act: jumping on the grenade and taking the full force of the blast.


I could also go on about the Firemen, Police Officers and Rescue workers who willingly ran up the stairs of the burning/collapsing World Trade Center in order to save lives (and in the process, also giving their own lives). Or maybe I should bring up Oskar Schlinder, the German who resisted Nazi propaganda, put himself and his family at risk to save over a thousand Jews.

Now correct me if I am wrong here, but all of these actions were done in real situations of duress and pandemonium. They were not manufactured "Let's play a game of Pretend" experiments clearly designed specifically to achieve a stated outcome. In these meager examples I have provided, out of thousands - the experience was completely divergent and unscripted.

In these examples, the human being chose the route of selflessness and valour.

Huh, go figure.
Ayiru
What's it about Kon (sorry, mid-raid or i'd google..)
Konstantine
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens—town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing—even murder—to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.


Basically an invisible dome comes down over the town, and society very quickly starts to turn to shit as the people with power try to hang on to it. It has a lot of parallels with the Stanford prison experiment, and also with Lord of the Flies.
Ayiru
I don't like reading much atm due to the MASSIVE levels of shit I read per term, but I am going to get this book and enjoy reading. Awesome suggestion. Cheers :D
Ayiru
I stupidly spoke up about a bit of my past in Ireland and the connections my ex/his father have to the IRA. (LONG STORY!). Tomorrow I am giving a lecture in the tutorial on what it's like being in an IRA culture, I admit I am a bit freaked out, I am horrid at public speaking, let along public speaking on a sensitive topic...

argh.

:(

This isn't overly a topic I talk about much, if ever... unsure how I am going to go about it.
Darkshaunz
Done heaps of presentations for business school, you will be fine once you get past the initial minute of nervousness.

A great tip I have to prepare is this: Know your material and then rehearse it. The human mind is pretty adept at learning material from repetition.

How well you know your material will determine how anxious you are. If you've convinced yourself that you've done all you can do prepare, you will naturally fall into a state of relaxation and acceptance (whatever happens, happens. I've already done my best - this is the train of thought).

Also break up the subject into smaller subheadings so you can organize your thoughts.

Example:

1) An introduction to what the IRA is
2) Aspects of IRA Culture, the risks of knowing someone related to the group
3) The habits and communication codes of IRA members
4) How IRA members integrate/assimilate with common folk
5) Why the IRA are fighting, their struggles and challenges to get their message across
6) Concluding thoughts and any personal touches you can bring to the presentation
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