Philosophical Interventions: Book Reviews, 1986-2011

By Martha C. Nussbaum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE
Texts for Torturers

PHILIP ZIMBARDO (2007), The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil

In August 1971, the Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his team of investigators selected twenty-four young men to participate in their study of the psychology of imprisonment. The men, only a few of whom were students, had answered an ad placed in both the student newspaper and the local town daily that offered subjects fifteen dollars per day for two weeks to participate in a study of “prison life.” The successful applicants were randomly assigned to the roles of prisoner and guard, fifty-fifty. Prisoners were to stay in the prison for the entire two weeks; guards served in eight-hour shifts, three groups per day. Thus began the now famous Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE).

The prison was built in university facilities, after local police refused to allow the use of the real town jail. They did, however, agree to “arrest” the future prisoners, coming unannounced to their homes in a way that enhanced the verisimilitude of the situation. Because Zimbardo, who had been teaching a course on Psychology of Imprisonment, initially conceived the study as an investigation of the isolation and loss of individuality that occur during imprisonment, he gave the prisoners no detailed instructions, although he initially told them that they, like the guards, were free to leave the experiment at any time (forfeiting all the cash). He also assured them that there would be no physical abuse. (This assurance proved false, since guards were permitted from the beginning to deprive prisoners of sleep, a very damaging form of physical abuse.) Guards, by contrast, initially seen as “ensemble players” whose role was to help Zimbardo study the prisoners, were given a detailed “orientation.” Zimbardo told them that in order for the study of prisoner psychology to be successful, they had to play their roles with vigour. He urged them to create an experience that included frustration, fear, and loss of control. “In general, what all this should create in them is a sense of powerlessness. We have total power in the situation.

-361-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Philosophical Interventions: Book Reviews, 1986-2011
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 419

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.