‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ Will Imprison You, Too

Research psychology was a wilder and woolier discipline in 1971, the year a 38-year-old professor named Philip Zimbardo built a mock jail in the Stanford University Psychology Department and stocked it with guards and prisoners drawn from young male respondents to a newspaper ad. It took only five days for that nondescript hallway in the basement of Jordan Hall to become a crucible of psychological abuse so powerful that it would one day be cited as a point of reference during the...

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